WASHINGTON, D.C. – Guns and gun control are polarizing issues. In a recent congressional hearing on gun control, the meeting became tense after members and families of gun violence exchanged jabs.
In a recent congressional hearing, House republicans said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, better known as ATF, is overreaching their authority on gun rights. Republicans accused the agency of infringing on second amendment rights after they changed a rule cracking down on stabilizing braces, which are devices designed to anchor a gun to a shooter’s arm, allowing people to shoot the firearm one-handed. Republican members said that device was designed to help people with disabilities and disabled veterans use guns. The new ATF rule would require gun owners to register with the government their existing pistols equipped with stabilizing braces within a couple of months. Republicans said the agency’s rule goes around congressional authority to make gun laws.
“Unelected bureaucrats who believe they can make law, apply law, enforce and adjudicate law, that is something every American should be concerned about,” said Rep. Andy Biggs (R- AZ).
Tensions with members on the other side of the aisle flared up over this issue.
“They [republicans] want to pretend that regulating stabilizing braces intended to convert a pistol into a short barrel rifle is trampling on our freedoms,” said Rep. Cori Bush (D- MO). “They want to pretend that democrats are coming for people’s guns. They want to pretend that people wanting regulations are coming from everybody’s guns. We’re not. We’re coming for the end of gun violence.”
But this already tense hearing took an unexpected turn. Manuel Oliver, whose son was killed in the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school shooting was arrested after disrupting the hearing and shouting while the subcommittee’s chairman was speaking.
“Please remove that woman,” said Rep. Pat Fallon (R- TX). “You’re breaching protocol in this room.”
“You took away my son,” replied a woman who is believed to be Oliver’s wife.
“No, no,” replied Fallon. “Officer, please remove her. And remove the gentleman too.”
The subcommittee’s chair, Rep. Fallon, said he welcomes all dialogue but that there needs to be decorum during hearing. Capitol Police said the man who was arrested, Manuel Oliver, was given a citation release arrest. Meaning he was not put in jail but he will have to go to court for disrupting a congressional hearing.