Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) addressed her Republican colleague Rep. Andy Harris’ attempt to bring a gun onto the House floor on Thursday in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, calling it an action that “put all 435 members of Congress in danger.”
“Why does a member of Congress need to sneak a gun onto the House floor?” Ocasio-Cortez asked, later adding, “The moment you bring a gun on to 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 a violation of rules,” she continued. “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.”
HuffPost witnessed an officer with a metal detector wand scan the gun in Harris’ suit coat on Thursday. Security refused to let the Maryland Republican in afterward, and Ocasio-Cortez pointed out that Harris also demonstrated disregard for responsible gun safety by attempting to hand off his firearm to Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.), who told Harris that he did not have a gun license and refused to hold the weapon.
“That just goes to show it doesn’t matter what your intention is,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “If you are irresponsible, if you are trying to break rules, if you are trying to sneak a firearm onto 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.”
While the public is prohibited from carrying firearms in the Capitol, lawmakers are allowed to keep guns in their offices or carry them on Capitol grounds unloaded. They are forbidden from bringing guns onto the floor.
The New York congresswoman also said that safety worries had been a factor in her absence at President Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday. That day, Ocasio-Cortez opted to join a picket line in the Bronx to protest for a $1-an-hour wage increase for essential workers instead.
“We had very real security concerns,” she said. “We still don’t yet feel safe around other members of Congress.”
Watch Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks below.
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter