Republicans refuse to walk through metal detectors at Capitol, slam Pelosi for pulling 'another political stunt'
For the first time in the history of the Capitol, metal detectors were installed at the entrances after the federal building was breached by a pro-Trump mob and a first-term Republican said she would bring her gun to Congress
GOP legislators were relentlessly mocked on Twitter after a number of the reportedly refused to go through metal detectors that had been installed at the entrances of the Capitol as a security measure. For the first time in the history of the Capitol, on Tuesday, metal detectors were installed at the entrances after the federal building was breached by a pro-Trump mob on January 6 and after a first-term Republican said she would bring her gun to Congress. Although magnetometers have been used for years at all visitor and staff entrances of the Capitol, lawmakers sporting congressional pins have been historically allowed to go around those security screenings. However, all that changed on Tuesday in accordance with a decision made by the House sergeant-at-arms.
"To provide a safe and secure environment in which to conduct legislative business, effective immediately, all persons, including members, are required to undergo security screening when entering the House chamber," Acting Sergeant-at-Arms Timothy Blodgett said in a statement. "Failure to complete screening or the carrying of prohibited items could result in denial of access to the chamber."
The announcement of the upgraded screening process was made ahead of two consequential votes beginning in the evening, addressing the potential removal from office of President Donald Trump.
Security check.@AFP's Andrew Caballero-Reynolds photographs Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) taking off her shoes as she goes through a metal detector as security is increased at the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC pic.twitter.com/sl6nONHcb0— AFP News Agency (@AFP) January 13, 2021
However, multiple GOP members were outraged at the new measures adopted by the security team at the capitol and demanded that they be exempted from the rules, which applied to all who entered the House chamber. Among those who refused to comply with the screening and/or were vocal in their protest of its implementation were GOP Representatives Louie Gohmert (Texas), Steve Stivers (Ohio), Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Van Taylor (Texas), Debbie Lesko (Arizona) and Larry Bucshon (Indiana).
Boebert, a gun-rights advocate who had supported pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory in the past, has previously boasted that she planned to carry her handgun around the Capitol after being sworn into office on January 3. Lawmakers are allowed to carry guns on Capitol Hill, but "firearms are restricted to a member's Office," Blodgett said.
On Tuesday, she tweeted that Pelosi was pulling "another political stunt" by allowing the metal detectors, which were placed outside the chamber and not outside the grounds. After a short confrontation with police during the screening process, Boebert was eventually allowed inside the chamber. "I am legally permitted to carry my firearm in Washington, D.C. and within the Capitol complex," Boebert tweeted. "Metal detectors outside of the House would not have stopped the violence we saw last week — it's just another political stunt by Speaker Pelosi."
I am legally permitted to carry my firearm in Washington, D.C. and within the Capitol complex.— Rep. Lauren Boebert (@RepBoebert) January 13, 2021
Metal detectors outside of the House would not have stopped the violence we saw last week — it’s just another political stunt by Speaker Pelosi.
Lesko also blamed Pelosi for members "being wanded like criminals" in a tweet, adding, "we now live in Pelosi's communist America!" Rep. Steve Womack (Arkansas) and Rep. Markwayne Mullin (Oklahoma), who loudly protested "I was physically restrained" at Capitol Police following the screening, according to CNN. Rep. Rodney Davis (Illinois) told the outlet that the detectors represented "political correctness run amok." Gohmert said "You can't stop me; I'm on my way to a vote" as he walked by Capitol Police, according to HuffPost.
For members of Congress to enter the floor of the U.S. House, we now have to go through intense security measures, on top of the security we already go through. These new provisions include searches and being wanded like criminals. We now live in Pelosi’s communist America!— Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (@RepDLesko) January 13, 2021
The complaining Republican lawmakers were subjected to much ridicule on social media. "And @FBI should be taking note of their possible participation in the insurrection on 1/6," one of them said, while another wrote, "In other words, all the people who need to be going through that metal detector aren't." A third commented, "I’d like to see them try and pull that at the airport on @TSA." The next said, "This seems perfectly on-brand."Another remarked, "'Wait, we're white & rich! You don't think WE have to go through metal detectors, do you?!'"
A commenter tweeted, "LAW AND ORDER but wait." One more said, "Metal detectors are the 2021 version of masks." Another commented, "Hey, now, don’t blow this outta proportion. These men are probably just credit cards in people suits and don’t wanna get demagnetized." One of them reacted with, "If it's good enough for school kids.....?" Another wrote, "If they don’t want to go through the metal detector, how about a full frisk?" A person said, "It's been awhile since I've read it, but I feel confident that magnetometers are never once mentioned in the Constitution."
And @FBI should be taking note of their possible participation in the insurrection on 1/6.— Amy Bordes Delaney (@DelaneyBordes) January 13, 2021
In other words, all the people who need to be going through that metal detector aren't.— Mark Russell (@Manruss) January 13, 2021
This seems perfectly on-brand.— Harry (@TheSeoulBrotha) January 13, 2021
"Wait, we're white & rich! You don't think WE have to go through metal detectors, do you?!"— Jedi, Interrupted 🏳️🌈 (@JediCounselor) January 13, 2021
LAW AND ORDER but wait— Dayle Steinke (@bluelinegoddess) January 13, 2021
Metal detectors are the 2021 version of masks— Jim Thurston (@jimthurston4) January 13, 2021
Hey, now, don’t blow this outta proportion. These men are probably just credit cards in people suits and don’t wanna get demagnetized.— Jhonen Vasquez (@JhonenV) January 13, 2021
If it's good enough for school kids.....?— ❄️ Ice Stella ❄️ (@IceStella77) January 13, 2021
If they don’t want to go through the metal detector, how about a full frisk?— Christina Wilson (@xina) January 13, 2021
It's been awhile since I've read it, but I feel confident that magnetometers are never once mentioned in the Constitution.— Geri Z (@geri_zak) January 13, 2021