Congressman pulls handgun out during zoom meeting on gun control: 'Maniac'

A US congressman has pulled out an array of handguns during a zoom meeting in his home in response to a proposed bill which could see stricter US regulations on gun control.

Florida Republican Greg Steube is an advocate for gun rights and argued the firearms he keeps in his home for protection would be banned if the proposed bill was passed.

The bill would focus on boosting school security in the wake of the Uvalde massacre that saw 19 students and two teachers killed. It would also raise the minimum age for buying certain guns to 21 from 18.

The proposed law would also restrict large-capacity ammunition feeding devices and clamp down on weapons trafficking.

US Congressman Greg Steube holding handgun during Zoom meeting
Congressman Greg Steube pulled out a selection of handguns during a gun control Zoom meeting with a member of the Democratic party. Source: Twitter/RepGregSteube

During the meeting with Democratic party member Sheila Jackson Lee, from Texas, the congressman moves through at least three guns, detailing the magazine — the ammunition feeding device — that's required for each.

He then criticises what would be banned under the proposed new laws.

"Here's a gun I carry every day to protect myself, my family, my wife, my home," he said during the meeting.

"It comes with a 15 round magazine and this gun would be banned in the new bill."

'I can do whatever I want with my guns'

The reckless handling of the weapons during the call appears to catch Ms Jackson Lee off-guard.

In a video shared on Twitter, you can hear her say: "I hope the gun isn't loaded".

But in a defiant rebuttal, Rep. Steube argues he can do as he pleases in his own home, neither confirming nor denying if the guns were loaded.

"I'm at my house. I can do whatever I want with my guns," Rep. Steube instantly retorts.

He later wrote on Twitter: "Democrats don’t even want to let me show what they’re trying to ban.

"I’m an American in my own home, and I’ll do whatever I want with my guns, Mr. Chairman."

President Joe Biden making speech with hand out
Addressing the nation on Thursday, President Joe Biden put pressure on Congress to amend current gun laws. Source: AAP

The move, and his comments, attracted widespread criticism on online.

"In his house he can do whatever he wants with his carrot, too. But that doesn't mean he should whip it out and show it off on Zoom," another wrote.

One dubbed him a "maniac" while another Twitter user fumed: "Such disgusting disrespect."

Another pointed out the negligence of "playing around with a loaded pistol".

"Classy... play around with a loaded pistol for performance art, " they fumed. "Exactly what we ALL learned to NEVER do in our firearms safety training."

Many pointed out the sheer number of children being killed by the hand of a gunman, drawing on several devastating examples in recent US history.

"Children are being murdered because our political system is being abused by people who can help stop it but won’t," one said.

Children run to safety during a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School where a gunman killed nineteen children and two adults in Uvalde, Texas
A series of shootings, including the mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas where 19 children and 2 adults died, is what's prompted the new proposed bill. Source: Reuters

President Biden pushes for gun control

The proposed bill is a reaction to several high-profile mass shootings in recent weeks, including one at a grocery store in New York, an elementary school in Texas and a medical building in Oklahoma on Wednesday.

The House Judiciary Committee met in an "emergency" session in the midst of a week-long Memorial Day recess as funerals were underway in Uvalde, Texas, for the school children who were killed.

Democrats who narrowly control the House intend to put their 41-page "Protecting Our Kids Act" to a vote by the full chamber next week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

President Joe Biden's party holds enough votes to pass the bill in the House, but it faces slim chances in the 50-50 Senate, where 60 votes are required to advance most legislation.

President Biden addressed the nation on Thursday where he pressured Congress to pass gun reform laws.

"Thoughts and prayers are important, but not enough. We need Congress to act," Vice President Kamala Harris said at an event on Thursday ahead of Biden's address.

with Reuters

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