Gun control activists swarmed the Capitol on Thursday, disrupting a congressional hearing concerning possible efforts made by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to curb Americans' Second Amendment rights.
The Capitol Police indicated that they had given protesters who had been illegally blocking traffic outside the Capitol multiple warnings to clear the street. Seven individuals who failed to do so were charged with crowding, obstructing, or incommoding.
Gun control activists also threw a fit inside the Capitol, shouting through a hearing entitled "ATF's Assault on the Second Amendment," held by a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee, reported Reuters.
One of the activists yelled, "All of you are full of s***," reported the Washington Examiner.
Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Texas), who together with Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) called the joint hearing, instructed police to remove an unruly woman who had accused committee members of taking her son away.
Fallon then read a statement, saying, "The committee welcomes the public to this meeting. We have people on both sides of the aisle ... not only up here, but in the audience, that have differing opinions. While you are welcome here, I want to point out to the members and to the audience in attendance today, House Rule 11 provides that the chairman of the committee may punish breaches of order and decorum by censure and exclusion from the hearing."
Activists evidently chose to ignore the chairman's warning and continued to interfere with the hearing, prompting Fallon to wonder aloud, "Is this an insurrection? ... I don't want another January 6, do we?"
Fallon asked, "Does the Capitol Police not do their jobs? What in the hell is going on?" ahead of calling a recess.
Capitol Police indicated that one of the activists, Manuel Oliver, was arrested after he disrupted a hearing, refused to stop shouting, and then attempted to go back inside the hearing room.
Oliver's arrest was caught on camera:
The Miami Herald reported that Oliver was not put in jail and his wife, Patricia — the other agitator who had disrupted the hearing with him — was not arrested.
The Olivers' son Joaquin was among the 17 killed in the Parkland mass shooting.
While Patricia Oliver blamed the subcommittee for her son's death during the Thursday hearing, Nikolas Cruz was found guilty of the boy's murder. In the way of displaced blame, the FBI had received a tip about Cruz's "desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting" prior to the shooting, but had failed to follow up, reported NBC News.
Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-Fla.), on the subcommittee, who previously noted that he "felt so much anger" during the "January 6th insurrection," sided with those who were told to leave the Capitol.
Frost claimed on Twitter that Fallon "completely escalated the situation" and "should've given a warning."
It is unclear whether Frost misheard the Republican chair when he gave the activists a clear warning.
Police told the Washington Post, "Anyone who disrupts a congressional hearing and disregards a law enforcement officer’s orders to stop are going to be arrested."
Fallon and Biggs had called the hearing to examine the ATF actions "aimed at curtailing the ability of lawful gun owners to exercise their Second Amendment rights."
The congressmen said in a joint statement, "The Biden Administration is weaponizing the ATF to advance a left-wing gun control agenda without regard for fundamental fairness or constitutional rights."
"The ATF has engaged in a host of practices that seek to curtail the ability of lawful gun owners to exercise their Second Amendment rights," added Fallon and Biggs. "Because of the ATF’s final rule, millions of lawful gun owners will be required to obtain a special registration, surrender, or destroy their stabilizing brace by the compliance date or will face severe criminal penalties merely as a result of this regulatory change."
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