(Ken Silva, Headline USA) A House Judiciary Committee hearing into the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’s recent transgressions against the Second Amendment had to be temporarily halted Thursday after anti-gun protestors “overwhelmed” U.S. Capitol Police and disrupted the proceedings.
Thursday’s hearing came on the heels of several controversial regulatory actions by the ATF, including its new rule requiring owners of guns with stabilizing braces to destroy, reconfigure, register or turn in their firearms to ATF within 120 days.
About two hours into the hearing, a group of protestors started shouting as legislators attempted to speak.
.@RepPatFallon: "Is this an insurrection?" pic.twitter.com/DMqMP82Bmb
— Gun Owners of America (@GunOwners) March 23, 2023
“Is this an insurrection?” quipped Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Texas, who was leading the hearing.
Fallon’s comment didn’t sit well with Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., who retorted that the disruptive protestors didn’t storm the Capitol to overthrow the government—implying that the leftist mob seeking to curtail a constitutional right was more entitled to a redress of its grievances than were Jan. 6 rallygoers outraged over the dubious outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
But as Fallon tried to resume the hearing, the protestors continued to be disruptive.
“Is the Capitol Police not doing their jobs? What in the hell is going on?” a frustrated Fallon said before recessing the hearing.
The footage of the hearing doesn’t show the protestors, but U.S. Capitol Police were apparently overwhelmed by them.
When the hearing resumed about 10 minutes later, Fallon recounted what happened.
“Unfortunately, we had some folks disruptive during the hearing,” he said.
“We asked Capitol Police to remove them, and they were removed,” he continued. “One decided to come back in … Capitol Police were overwhelmed outside in the hallway.”
Fallon further admonished Cicilline for encouraging the anti-gunners.
“We should have a spirted debate in this committee, which we have had,” he said. “But to be that disruptive and to be that narcissistic … that shouldn’t be applauded, and it sure as hell shouldn’t be applauded by members of this committee.”
This led to Rep. Glenn Ivey, D-Mass., to attempt to draw false equivalence between what happened in the Capitol to the parent who disrupted a Loudoun County, Virginia, school board meeting because the school was covering up the sexual assault of his daughter.
Fallon told Ivey it wasn’t his turn to speak, and continued the hearing, which included testimony from Alex Bosco, the inventor of the stabilizing brace that the ATF is trying to regulate out of existence.
Basco explained that, among other things, his brace helps injured combat veteran shoot safely and effectively.
“I thought it unconscionable that [injured vets] should be denied the opportunity to safely use a firearm due to wounds received in service of the United States,” he told the committee. “This experience led to the invention of the pistol stabilizing brace.”
Bosco also disagreed with the notion that stabilizing braces could make mass shooters deadlier.
“It also is not a force multiplier in any way, shape, or form,” he said. “It simply allows a shooter to fire a weapon more accurately by giving the shooter an additional point of contact at the forearm.”
The ATF’s new pistol-brace rule is subject to multiple lawsuits, and Republican lawmakers have introduced legislation that would block it as an “abuse of rule-making authority.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., has gone even farther by introducing a bill that would abolish the ATF altogether.
“The continued existence of the ATF is increasingly unwarranted based on their repeated actions to convert law-abiding citizens into felons,” Gaetz said in January. “They must be stopped.”
Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.