Republican Congressman Discovered Carrying Gun When Attempting To Go On House Floor
A Republican lawmaker is under investigation after it was discovered that he had attempted to bring a concealed gun onto the House floor.
US Capitol Police are now investigating Rep. Andy Harris after metal detectors outside the chamber sounded the alarm on Thursday, January 21.
After being denied entry, Harris, from Maryland, asked fellow Republican John Katko to hold the weapon. Katko refused because he does not have a licence.
Harris reportedly left the area and returned a short while later without the weapon, as per CNN.
The Capitol police officer has confirmed that Harris did not bring the gun onto the House floor. The department is now investigating the incident, a source told the publication.
The metal detectors are new additions to the House, in a bid to boost security following the riots at the US Capitol on January 6, which left five people dead.
Under a 1967 Capitol Police Board regulation, guns are banned from Congress, except for those members who have been granted a special exemption.
These members can carry firearms in the halls of Congress and on Capitol grounds, granted they have a licence to do so but under no circumstances can any guns be brought onto the House floor.
Harris has been criticised by Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who said a considerable amount of House lawmakers do not feel safe around other members of Congress.
‘The moment you bring a gun onto the House floor in violation of rules, you put everyone around you in danger. It is irresponsible, it is reckless, but beyond that it is the violation of rules,’ she said.
‘I don’t really care what they say their intentions are, I care what the impact of their actions are, and the impact is to put all 435 members of Congress in danger’.
Of Harris’s attempt to pass the gun to Katko, she said ‘any responsible gun owner knows that you don’t just hand off your gun to another individual, you have to clear it’.
‘I don’t care if you accidentally set it off, I don’t care if you intentionally set it off, I don’t care if you don’t set it off at all, you are endangering the lives of members of Congress. And it is absolutely outrageous that we even have to have this conversation,’ she added.
The increased security measures have proven difficult to enforce, with a number of Congress members acting reluctant to comply.
Last week, two lawmakers, Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma and Steve Womack of Arkansas shouted at police officers when asked to pass through the detectors.
Womack alleged that he was ‘physically restrained’, while Mullin told officers it was his constitutional right to not have to pass through the detectors and that they could not stop him.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Most Read StoriesMost Read