Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York has criticized Republicans in Congress for complaining about the new House metal detectors, noting that at least one Republican has previously posted an image of themselves holding a gun next to Democrats.
The metal detectors were installed on Tuesday following last Wednesday’s insurrection by President Donald Trump’s supporters at the Capitol. House Democrats have said they no longer felt safe among their pro-Trump Republican colleagues following the insurrection.
“It’s almost as though GOP members promoting videos of themselves illegally carrying firearms on Capitol grounds, posting images of themselves holding guns next to Democratic members, & inciting an attack on the Capitol has consequences! Naturally, GOP are crying & playing victim,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Tuesday.
Laws forbid legislators from carrying loaded firearms anywhere in the capitol except for their office. No one except law enforcement is allowed to carry a gun, whether loaded or unloaded, in the House Chamber.
In a Tuesday afternoon announcement, acting House Sergeant-At-Arms Timothy Blodgett told House members that anyone entering the lower chamber would have to undergo additional screening measures and would be prohibited from entering if they refused screening or were found carrying a prohibited item, such as a gun.
However, Republicans began criticizing the metal detectors almost immediately.
Republican Congressman Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma shouted at security guards on Tuesday. “I was physically restrained!” he said.
Congressman Steve Womack of Arkansas said that carrying a firearm is “my constitutional right” and “they cannot stop me.”
In a January 3 ad, Representative Lauren Boebert of Colorado told viewers that she would “carry my Glock to Congress.” In a September Facebook post, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia shared an image of herself holding a gun next to a picture of the four Democratic congresswomen of color, who made up the House’s progressive group known as “the Squad.”
Facebook removed Greene’s post for violating its policy against violent threats after “Squad” member Ilhan Omar of Minnesota tweeted, “Posting a photo with an assault rifle next to the faces of three women of color is not advertising. It’s incitement. There are already death threats in response to this post.”
Democrats have criticized Republicans who supported Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud as being partly responsible for last Wednesday’s insurrection raid on the Capitol. About 120 GOP House members voted to oppose certifying the victory of President-elect Joe Biden.
Fear of further political violence continues as the FBI has mentioned possible attacks during upcoming protests planned at all 50 U.S. capitals and Biden’s January 20 inauguration in the nations’ Capitol.
Newsweek contacted Greene’s office for comment.