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House Freedom Caucus
Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., speaks outside the Capitol on Dec. 3, 2020.Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images file

Rep facing investigation after trying to bring gun onto House floor

I'll go out on a limb and say members of Congress might start to feel a little safer if their colleagues stopped trying to bring guns onto the House floor.


In the wake of the deadly insurrectionist attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, a variety of new security measures were put in place, including magnetometers at the doorways to the floor of the U.S. House.

This hasn't gone over well with some members. Reporters have seen several Republican lawmakers either circumventing the security precautions or expressing indifference after setting off the detectors.

Yesterday, however, brought an even more striking development. The HuffPost's Matt Fuller reported on the new security measure preventing one House Republican from bringing a gun onto the House.

Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), who has repeatedly flouted the magnetometers that were installed near the House chamber after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, set off the metal detectors while trying to enter. When an officer with a metal detector wand scanned him, a firearm was detected on Harris's side, concealed by his suit coat. Police refused to let Harris in, and the officer signaled a security agent that Harris had a gun on him by motioning toward his own firearm.

The reporter went on to note that Harris tried to get Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) to hold the gun while he entered the chamber to cast a vote, but Katko balked, saying he wasn't licensed. Harris ultimately left, returned unarmed 10 minutes later, and participated in the proceedings.

This comes on the heels of reports that Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) was also "armed" on Capitol Hill during the attack two weeks ago.

In case this isn't obvious, the HuffPost report added, "Members are allowed to carry a gun in the office buildings, in the Capitol and on Capitol grounds, but they are expressly forbidden from carrying firearms onto the floor."

U.S. Capitol Police confirmed overnight that the incident is under investigation.

This comes a week after NBC News reported that in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot, "members of Congress are expressing something once unthinkable: that some of their own colleagues may be endangering their lives. Not in a rhetorical sense, but in a direct and immediate way."

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) said of conditions on Capitol Hill, "It's the most poisonous I've ever seen. There's the overall sense that maybe if some of them have guns — and likely the ones who are more into conspiracy theories and QAnon with the pedophilic satanic rings — are we safe from them?"

I'll go out on a limb and say members might start to feel a little safer if their colleagues stopped trying to bring guns onto the House floor and started pausing after triggering the magnetometers.