WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – Some Republicans in Congress are wearing pins in the shape of an assault weapon in committee meetings and on the House floor. While Democrats say the pins are insensitive and out of touch, Republicans say it’s their right to stand up for issues they believe in.
New Republican Congress members, like George Santos and Ana Paulina Luna, are wearing lapel pins shaped like assault-style rifles.
“To be promoting them on the floor of the House, is despicable and I think an insult to all of the victims of assault weapons,” Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) said.
Democrats, like New York Congressman Gregory Meeks and California Congressman Jimmy Gomez, criticize the Republicans for wearing the pins because there have already been more than 55 mass shootings in the country in 2023.
“Anybody can wear whatever they want, but you have to have some common decency,” Rep. Gomez said.
Georgia Congressman Andrew Clyde, who’s worn the pin for years, wore it on Wednesday as he delivered remarks criticizing new ATF gun rules.
“What comes before gun confiscation? Gun registration,” Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) said.
Tennessee Republican Chuck Fleischmann defended his Republican colleagues saying, “I think that’s a matter of the First Amendment.”
Fleischmann says Democrats are misguided for trying to ban assault weapons and require universal background checks.
“We have many more pressing issues in this country,” Rep. Fleischmann added.
“Tell that to the families that lost loved ones in Monterey Park, or the kids that were killed in Uvalde. I mean, they were so mutilated that they had to be identified by DNA,” Rep. Gomez said.
Gomez says it’s Republicans who are misguided because polls show Americans want stronger gun laws.