If I were a member of Congress, I’d still be looking sideways at some of my colleagues (GOP ones, specifically) even though we’re now weeks removed from the Capitol insurrection and Republicans are suddenly all in for “unity.” That a Republican member of Congress, Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland, decided to try and bring a concealed weapon into House chambers at the Capitol—just one day after Biden’s heavily guarded inauguration—would only confirm to me the wisdom of keeping my side-eye on lock.
According to CNN, Harris strolled up to entrance to the House floor on Thursday with a concealed gun on his hip, which caused one of the metal detectors that have been installed in the Capitol since the Jan. 6 violence to go off.
Speaking of wisdom—these metal detectors have been in the Capitol for well over a week now. What did Harris think was going to happen? Apparently, he thought he would skate on by, even though the rules of the Capitol strictly prohibit weapons on the House and Senate floors. After setting off the alarm and catching the notice of Capitol police who stopped him from entering the floor, Harris then actually tried to pass off his gun to another Republican congressman, Rep. John Katko of New York—who doesn’t even have a license to carry!
Because Katko isn’t stupid, he refused to take Harris’ heat, which forced the sneaky representative to find somewhere else to stash his weapon before being allowed to go on to the House Floor.
Harris is now under investigation for the incident by Capitol Police, reports CNN. He’s also been publicly lambasted by Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who called him out for “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.”
He may have thought he could get away with it because more than one Republican member of Congress has flouted or set off the metal detectors since they’ve been installed in the Capitol. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), the same woman who pledged earlier this year to tote her Glock around Congress and was suspiciously live-tweeting about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s movements during the insurrection, apparently also set off a metal detector in the building on Thursday. According to Newsweek, Boebert didn’t even bother to heed Capitol Police when they stopped her.
Pelosi has proposed fines starting at $5,000 for members who disregard the metal detectors and the instructions of Capitol Police.