Boebert Wrongly Claims Gatling Guns Existed When Second Amendment Written

Republican Representative Lauren Boebert was called out on Sunday online for inaccurate statements she made while arguing against gun control.

The statement in question was made during an appearance on a show called Capitol Report. In a clip shared on Twitter by PatriotTakes, a group dedicated to following and researching right-wing extremism, the Colorado Republican attempted to confront comments made by President Joe Biden about people not being able to purchase something as powerful as a cannon when the Second Amendment was written.

"There were Gatling guns," the GOP lawmaker said during the interview, after urging people to know their history. "And that was a pretty high-powered machine, fully automatic really. And I think you could own a cannon, too."

As the PatriotTakes account pointed out, the Gatling gun was, in fact, introduced in 1861, nearly 80 years after the original 10 Amendments of the U.S. Constitution were drafted in the wake of the American Revolution. Invented by North Carolina native, Richard Jordan Gatling, the weapon is considered to be the first functional and successful iteration of a machine gun.

The weapon was first deployed in combat by Union forces during the American Civil War, which broke out in the same year that the Gatling gun was invented, though only sporadically.

lauren boebert gatling gun
Republican Representative Lauren Boebert wrongly claimed in recent interview that Gatling guns were around during the time that the Second Amendment was written. Above, Boebert is seen at a news conference in 2021. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Around the time that the U.S. was founded in the late 18th century, the most advanced firearm is believed to have been the Puckle Gun, a large tripod-mounted flintlock revolver that could fire three times faster than a standard-issue musket. It was among the first guns to be referred to as a "machine gun," though it did not meet the standards for the term later introduced. It was also not widely available, with some estimates saying that only two were ever produced.

By contrast, Gatling guns could fire at a rate 1,000 times as fast as a musket, if powered externally. Modern AR-15s, a weapon commonly deployed in mass shootings, can fire well over 100 times faster than a musket when properly modified, leading many to criticize the application of the Second Amendment to such deadly modern firearms.

Boebert, who represents Colorado's 3rd Congressional District, has frequently come under fire for bizarre statements in support of gun ownership, particularly in regards to assault rifles. Earlier this month, she joked at a Christian conference that Jesus "didn't have enough [AR-15s] to keep his government from killing him."

Last December, Boebert was lambasted by Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for a Christmas photo in which she and her family held guns near their tree.

"Tell me again where Christ said 'use the commemoration of my birth to flex violent weapons for personal political gain'?" Ocasio-Cortez asked on Twitter. "lol @ all the years Republicans spent on cultural hysteria of society 'erasing Christmas and it's meaning' when they're doing that fine all on their own."