Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) was stopped with a gun while passing through metal detectors in the House.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Thursday said Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) "put all 435 members of Congress in danger" when he took a gun onto the floor of the House.
Earlier that day, Harris' gun was detected when passing through metal detectors in the House. When a security officer flagged the weapon, Harris tried to pass the gun to Rep. John Katko (R-NY). Katko told Harris he did not have a gun license and refused to take the weapon.
Metal detectors were put in place in the Capitol after pro-Trump rioters attacked the building on Jan. 6.
In an interview on CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," Ocasio-Cortez was asked why she had not attended the inauguration ceremony for President Joe Biden.
Ocasio-Cortez said she and a "considerable amount" of members "do not feel safe," and specifically called out Harris' actions.
"These are individuals that are trying to sneak firearms either illegally or in direct violation of House rules. Why does a member of Congress need to sneak a gun on to the House floor?" she asked rhetorically.
Ocasio-Cortez noted that the simple act of bringing the gun, regardless of Harris' intentions as to how he would use the weapon, was a violation of House rules and presented an element of danger.
"The impact is to put all 435 members of Congress in danger," she said, indicating that Harris' subsequent attempt to give the weapon to another member who didn't have a gun license was a violation of widely accepted gun safety practices.
She concluded, "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."
From the Jan. 21 edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time":
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN: This was supposed to be a show of force and unity, and you weren't there, explain it.
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Yeah, you know I think we also had very real security concerns as well, as you mentioned earlier. We still don't yet feel safe around other members of Congress.
CUOMO: How many are "we"?
OCASIO-CORTEZ: I think a very considerable amount. A lot of members do not feel safe.
CUOMO: You really think that colleagues of yours in Congress may do you dirty?
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Well, one just tried to bring a gun on the floor of the House today, I believe it was Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland, he tried to bring in a gun onto the House floor. For individuals who don't know, guns are not allowed in the District of Columbia and certainly the House floor is – there are separate House rules that prohibit the bringing in of firearms, now these are rules that date back to the Civil War.
These are individuals that are trying to sneak firearms either illegally or in direct violation of House rules. Why does a member of Congress need to sneak a gun on to the House floor?
CUOMO: You think they're bringing it in their because they want to protect all of you from insurrectionists like we saw a couple of weeks ago? Or do you think there really is a chance that you may be the enemy?
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Well, here's what I'll say: 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 in violation of rules. You are openly disobeying the rules that we have established as a community. Which means that you cannot be trusted to be held accountable to what we've decided as a community.
And so, 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. He tried to hand off his gun to another member who didn't have a license, and any responsible gun owner knows that you don't just hand off your gun to another individual, you have to clear it, etcetera, and that just goes to show it doesn't matter what your intention is, if you are irresponsible, if you are trying to break rules, you're trying to sneak a firearm on to the floor of the House, 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.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.