“I was one of those Americans who owned guns and heard you talk about your ‘hell, yes, I’ll take your AR-15 and AK-47’,” Ms. Boebert said to Mr. O’Rourke at the time. “Well I’m here to say the hell no you aren’t.”
She has expressed her support for the QAnon conspiracy group, although she has tried to temper it by saying she is not a follower.
Ms. Boebert was running a restaurant in Colorado’s ranchland – where she encouraged waiters to openly bear guns – when she drugged the state’s Republican establishment by defeating a five-year incumbent in the primary and then winning the general election.
“She was so inexperienced,” said Dick Wadhams, the former head of the Colorado Republican Party. “I don’t think she even knew she didn’t stand a chance, which turned out to be a good thing for her. She surprised everyone.”
So far it has had the same effect on Washington. On Wednesday, the Capitol Police and Ms. Boebert’s office declined to respond to inquiries as to whether she had actually carried a gun when she had difficulty getting into the chamber. Mrs. Boebert has said that she has an undercover license to carry her gun issued by the District of Columbia asserts on Twitter that she has the right to wear freely within the Capitol complex, which is not true.
On Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the Columbia District Police Department did not respond when asked if Washington Police Chief Robert J. Contee III had met Ms. Boebert to explain the district gun laws to her, as he did said he would do it last week.
In Colorado, Ms. Boebert’s borough encompasses much of western Colorado, a vast, politically diverse landscape of mesas and rugged mountains that includes liberal enclaves like Aspen and Telluride, as well as often overlooked cities where ranching, mining, and natural gas drilling pay the bills. For generations, the district chose deeply rooted local men who, whether Democrats or Republicans, tended to be moderates with cowboy boots focused on the local economy and natural resources.