TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Republican U.S. congressman who represents part of the Tampa Bay area is making national headlines after he pulled out a firearm during a hearing on gun control.
The move came a few hours before President Joe Biden addressed the nation to urge Congress to pass stricter gun legislation.
The most recent mass shootings in New York, Texas and Oklahoma factored into the president’s renewed push for stricter gun laws. He said he’s visited with many of the victims’ families and others affected by the recent tragedies.
“They have one message for us: do something. Do something. Just do something. For God’s sake, do something,” Biden said.
The president said he wants Congress to reinstate a ban on military-style assault weapons, and showed support for red flag laws.
“There are too many other schools, too many other everyday places that have becoming killing fields, battle fields here in America,” Biden said.
Democrats are working on legislation that would make it a federal offense to sell or possess high capacity magazines. The package, dubbed the “Protect Our Kids Act” is unlikely to pass the Senate.
After the Parkland school shooting, Florida passed a law that allowed police to ask a judge to temporarily block dangerous individuals from purchasing or possessing a firearm.
During a House Judiciary Committee hearing on gun control Thursday, Rep. Greg Steube, who represents Florida’s 17th Congressional District, which includes eastern Tampa Bay, showed off multiple firearms, and said Democrats were trying to take away Americans’ Second Amendment rights.
“Here’s a gun I carry every single day to protect myself, my family, my wife. Here’s a 7-round magazine which would be less than what would be lawful [under Protect Our Kids Act] , it doesn’t fit so it would be banned,” Steube said.
“Don’t let them fool you that they’re not attempting to take away your ability to purchase handguns,” he continued. “They are using the magazine ban to do it.”
But according to Biden, the legislation isn’t about restricting the rights of gun owners, but enacting common sense safety measures to protect children and families.
Bipartisan Senate negotiations in discussion include: funding for mental health services, expanded background checks and boosted school security.