The first meeting of the year of the House Natural Resources Committee turned heated Wednesday when a Democratic member offered an amendment that would ban lawmakers from carrying guns in the panel’s hearing room.

Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., said he was proposing the «sadly necessary» amendment because it is a «major safety issue for our committee members.»

He noted that the Republican-controlled Rules Committee removed a provision that Democrats had implemented during the previous two-year term that prohibited firearms in courtrooms and committees. One of the first acts of the new Republican majority was to remove the magnetometers that former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had installed outside the House chamber after the January 6 riots.

«To be clear, members and their staff are already prohibited by law from carrying weapons in the courtrooms and conference rooms of this Capitol. Currently, under the statute and regulation of the Capitol Police Board, members are supposed to Members should keep firearms only in their offices. Huffman said.

“This does not allow you to bring firearms into courtrooms and you do not allow you to walk around the Capitol with a loaded gun. But we know that some members think these rules don’t apply to them,” he added.

Committee member Rep. Lauren Boebert, who vowed in a viral 2020 video to carry a gun on Capitol Hill, denounced Huffman’s «anti-member security amendment» as a «political stunt» before revealing an enlarged photo of her. him in a tinfoil hat.

«With threats against members of Congress at an all-time high, now is not the time to strip members of our constitutional right to defend ourselves,» the Colorado Republican said, before recounting several incidents of violence on Capitol Hill and against legislators over the years.

Threats against lawmakers decreased in 2022 for the first time in at least five years, though they are still hovering around all-time highs, according to figures from the US Capitol Police.

Rep. Ruben Gallego, an Arizona Democrat who recently ran for the Senate, noted Wednesday that Boebert’s list of incidents against lawmakers omitted the Jan. 6 riot.

«Yeah, it was horrible when Ashli ​​Babbitt was murdered,» Boebert responded, referring to a rioter who was shot by a Capitol police officer as he tried to get through a door leading to where members of Congress were being evacuated.

«And he doesn’t care about the 100 policemen» who were injured in the attack, Gallego replied.

Boebert went on to say that he said he followed House rules on the day of the attack on the Capitol and that he did not have his gun when protesters tried to force their way into the building.

“It was the first time in many years that I was unprotected. I was unarmed, not unarmed, unarmed, because I was not allowed to possess my firearm,” said Boebert, who was first elected to Congress in 2020.

Earlier Wednesday, Huffman and other Democrats wrote a letter to congressional leaders asking if additional security measures are being put in place for President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address next week given the relaxed rules for firearms. enacted by the Republicans.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Huffman and fellow committee member Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y., asked which other lawmakers on the Natural Resources panel planned to bring a firearm into the room.

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., asked the two Democratic members if they have «reason to believe there is a homicidal maniac among us.»

«Who don’t you trust to carry a firearm into a committee room?» McClintock asked.

«I think from what I’ve witnessed, the competence of some members may be something I’m willing to question,» Ocasio-Cortez responded.

The Democratic amendment to ban firearms in the committee room was defeated in a party-line vote.