Republican congressman Andy Harris tried to bring gun on House floor: report
Harris is among the Republicans resistant to new security protocols put in place after the Capitol siege that killed a police officer.
Republican Maryland Congressman Andy Harris is under investigation by Capitol Police for allegedly trying to bring a gun onto the floor of the House of Representatives.
“One security official present saw a firearm on the person of Rep. Harris and relayed that to his superiors,” a Capitol official told NBC News. “To be clear, Rep. Harris did not enter the Floor.”
Republicans have been resistant to new security protocols put in place after the deadly siege at the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had metal detectors installed just days after the riot, and hefty fines are being imposed on House members who refuse the security screenings. A fine of $5,000 for a first offense and $10,000 for a second offense will be imposed, deducted directly from lawmakers’ salaries.
“Because his and his family’s lives have been threatened by someone who has been released awaiting trial,” Rep. Harris’ office said in a statement, “for security reasons, the Congressman never confirms whether he nor anyone else he’s with are carrying a firearm for self-defense.”
“As a matter of public record,” it continues, “he has a Maryland Handgun Permit. And the congressman always complies with the House metal detectors and wanding. The Congressman has never carried a firearm on the House floor.”
While members can carry personal handguns on the grounds, Capitol Police have informed them they are not allowed to bring them on the House floor, as they are restricted to the member’s office.
One of the most outspoken Republican representatives averse to the rules is Colorado’s Lauren Boebert, a staunch gun rights advocate.
A House reporter tweeted yesterday that “House Republican Lauren Boebert now sets off the metal detector and refuses to comply with US Capitol Police, waking into the chamber. USCP not making a big deal but $5,000 fine comes out of member’s pay.”
Florida’s Matt Gaetz tweeted, “They’re trying to disarm @laurenboebert on the floor of the House of Representatives because, ultimately, they’re coming to disarm many, many more.”
In addition to Harris, who was carrying his handgun Thursday, Boebert, Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs and Rick Allen of Georgia all refused to be wanded down after setting off the metal detectors.