Republican holds up private arsenal during House hearing on gun reform

A Republican congressman took advantage of a House hearing on gun control following several mass shootings to show off his own collection of firearms, brandishing them via remote video link.

A Democrat, Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, chimed in and said, “I hope the gun isn’t loaded.”

But Greg Steube replied: “I’m at home, I can do whatever I want with my weapons.”

Hearing on the Protecting Our Kids Act, an omnibus bill backed by House Democrats, came amid calls for meaningful reform after mass shootings in Buffalo, New York (10 dead) ; Uvalde, Texas (21 dead, including 19 children); and Tulsa, Oklahoma (four dead).

Joining the hearing from his Florida home, Steube complained on proposals to ban high-capacity magazines.

“The Glock 19 was the best-selling handgun in the United States,” he said. “It comes with a 15 round magazine. This weapon would be prohibited.

Then he brandished a gun.

“Right in front of you I have a Sig Sauer P226. Comes with a 21 round magazine. This weapon would be banned. Here is a 12 round magazine. This magazine would be banned under this current bill, it is not suitable because this pistol was designed for [a] 21 round magazine. This weapon would be prohibited under this bill.

He showed another weapon.

“Here’s a Sig Sauer P320. It takes a 20-round magazine. Here’s a 12-round magazine that would be banned. It’s not okay. Because it would be banned. This gun would be banned under this bill.

And another.

“Here’s a gun I carry everyday to protect myself, my family, my wife, my home. It’s an XL Sig Sauer P365, comes with a 15 round magazine. Here’s a seven round magazine that would be less than what would be legal under this bill…it doesn’t fit in. So that weapon would be banned.

Steube is a former U.S. Army lawyer who supported Donald Trump’s attempt to nullify the 2020 election. He voted against awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to police officers who defended the Capitol against the rioters on January 6, 2021.

On Thursday, he refused requests to relent from Democratic committee chairman Jerry Nadler of New York.

The shootings in Buffalo, Uvalde and Tulsa took place in two weeks. Other mass shootings, broadly defined as events in which four or more people, not including the shooter, are injured or killed, occurred across the United States over Memorial Day weekend.

The Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit organization, says there have been 232 mass shootings in the United States this year, well over one a day.

Republicans remain opposed to gun reform, though senators from both parties have said talks that began after the Uvalde shooting have shown promise.

On Thursday, two House Judiciary Committee Democrats, Sylvia Garcia of Texas and Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania, read out the names of the 19 children killed in Uvalde.

Garcia argued that Republicans were “complicit” in these mass shootings because they refused to endorse gun reform.

His voice shaking, Dean asked, “Where is their outrage at the slaughter of 19 fourth graders and their two teachers? Why don’t they feel the urgency to do something?

“It’s under our watch.”

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