Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says some lawmakers 'don't yet feel safe around other members of Congress' after one tried bringing a gun to the House floor

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Oma Seddiq
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) arrives for a hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on August 24, 2020
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on August 24. Tom Williams/Getty Images
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she was concerned for her safety after reports said Congress members brought guns to the Capitol.

  • The New York progressive told CNN's Chris Cuomo on Thursday that "a very considerable amount" of lawmakers "still don't yet feel safe."

  • Security concerns have been top of mind for many lawmakers after the Capitol breach.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she was worried about her safety in the aftermath of the Capitol riot and in light of news that some Congress members appeared inclined to bring firearms to work.

The New York progressive told CNN's Chris Cuomo on Thursday evening that "a very considerable amount" of lawmakers "still don't yet feel safe around other members of Congress."

Ocasio-Cortez raised the issue of security concerns after Cuomo questioned why she had skipped President Joe Biden's inauguration earlier this week. She instead spent the evening supporting a local union strike in New York.

"You really think that colleagues of yours in Congress may do you dirty?" Cuomo asked.

"One just tried to bring a gun on the floor of the House," Ocasio-Cortez replied, a reference to Republican Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland, who attempted to carry a concealed firearm to the House floor on Thursday evening, HuffPost reported. Harris' office did not immediately return Insider's request for comment. The Washington Post reported that Capitol Police said it would investigate the matter.

"The moment you bring a gun onto the House floor, in violation of rules, you put everyone around you in danger," Ocasio-Cortez said. "It is irresponsible. It is reckless."

She added: "It is absolutely outrageous that we even have to have this conversation."

Congress members are prohibited from carrying firearms onto the House and Senate floors, but they are allowed to have guns in their offices and carry them on Capitol grounds. Open carry is illegal in Washington, DC, and gun owners must register their firearms with the DC police and obtain a permit should they choose to carry concealed firearms.

Security concerns have been on the minds of many lawmakers after the Capitol siege earlier this month, which forced Congress to go into lockdown and evacuate the building. The House tightened its safety protocols and installed a metal detector in front of the House floor, but some Republicans have scoffed at the measures or disregarded them altogether.

Besides the report on Harris on Thursday, other lawmakers have signaled a willingness to carry guns in the Capitol. Freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, a staunch gun-rights supporter, has previously indicated that she wants to carry her Glock handgun to work with her.

Another freshman Congress member, GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, said he had a gun on him during the Capitol siege.

"Fortunately, I was armed, so we would have been able to protect ourselves," he told the local North Carolina newspaper Smoky Mountain News.

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia released an ad when she was a candidate that showed her holding an assault rifle next to photos of Ocasio-Cortez and fellow "Squad" members Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. Facebook took the ad down.

"GOP lawmakers campaigned with images of them cocking guns next to photos of myself," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Friday. "Now they are trying to violate DC law and House rules to sneak guns onto the House floor two weeks after a white supremacist insurrection that killed 5 people. Why?"

Read the original article on Business Insider