Republican Andy Harris tried to enter US House chamber with gun, stopped
The US Capitol Police are probing an attempt by Republican lawmaker Andy Harris to bring a gun into the House of Representatives chamber on Thursday, a day after the inauguration of President Joe Biden. According to US media reports, Maryland representative Andy Harris set off metal detectors while he was trying to enter the House chamber, prompting a security guard to use a metal detector wand that spotted the concealed gun.
While House members are allowed to carry firearms in Capitol grounds, they aren’t allowed to take it onto the House floor. The officer reportedly denied entry to Harris and sent him away. According to CNN, Harris asked fellow Republican John Katko to hold his gun but the latter refused to do so, saying he didn’t have a license to hold the firearm. Harris returned to the House chamber moments later without the gun.
The metal detectors were installed last week amid heightened security concerns in the aftermath of the Capitol violence that left five dead, including one police officer. Democratic representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, popularly known as AOC, had earlier raised doubts over the intention of some of her Republican colleagues.
Ocasio-Cortez had told her thousands of followers via Instagram Live that she “didn’t feel safe around other members of Congress” when rioters stormed the Capitol. “I myself did not even feel safe going to that extraction point because there were QAnons and white supremacist sympathisers and, frankly, white supremacist members of Congress in that extraction point who I know and who I had felt would disclose my location,” she had said.
After the Republican lawmaker was caught trying to enter the House chamber with a gun, AOC revealed that a lot of members still don’t feel “safe around other members of Congress.” Speaking to CNN, the member of the progressive caucus said that it was not only “irresponsible” and “reckless” action to bring a gun onto the House floor, but also a violation of rules.
"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," she added.
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