Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., accused President Biden on Tuesday of “politicizing” the mass shooting at a Boulder, Colorado grocery store that left 10 people dead after he called for a nationwide ban on assault weapons.
Biden urged Congress to pass several gun control measures, including a ban on assault weapons, a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines and tighter background check requirements, following the nation’s second mass shooting in a week. Boebert, an outspoken gun rights advocate, argued that Biden’s proposals were at odds with the second amendment.
“Joe Biden has wasted no time politicizing the attack in Boulder yesterday by calling for an assault weapons ban & other infringements on our Second Amendment,” Boebert said.
Boebert is a first-term congresswoman from Colorado’s 3rd congressional district, which does not include Boulder. She drew scrutiny in recent months after she pledged to carry a firearm on the House floor. In February, Democratic lawmakers criticized Boebert after she displayed multiple long guns in the background during a virtual House committee hearing.
Senate lawmakers held a hearing to debate potential measures to prevent further gun violence on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after the Boulder shooting.
“It should not be a partisan issue,” Biden said. “This is an American issue. It will save lives, American lives.”
With the Senate divided 50-50, Democrats would face an uphill battle to pass comprehensive gun control legislation such as a ban on assault weapons. When asked about potential measures to pursue tighter gun laws, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki did not rule out the possibility of executive action.
“We are considering a range of levers, including working through legislation, including executive action,” Psaki told reporters. “That has been under discussion and will continue to be under discussion.”
Police arrested Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, a 21-year-old Colorado resident, in connection with the Boulder shooting. Authorities said Alissa purchased a Ruger AR-556 rifle just days before the shooting. He was charged with 10 counts of first-degree.
In a statement earlier Tuesday, Boebert expressed condolences to the families of the shooting’s victims. At the same time, she ripped lawmakers pushing for tighter gun laws.
“While some elected officials have already started using this shooting to advance a political agenda, I refuse to do so,” Boebert said. “I will not blame society at large for the sick actions of one man and I will not allow lawbreakers to dictate the rights of law-abiding citizens.”