The man responsible for handing out pins in the shape of assault weapons that have been adopted by right-wing Republicans in Congress has revealed himself—as clashes between the political parties grow over the controversial accessory.
Earlier this week, the pins appeared on the lapels of Rep. George Santos (R-NY) and Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) in committee meetings and on the House floor.
Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA), who has worn the pin for years, was also seen parading it on Wednesday as he delivered remarks critical of gun restrictions.
The pins did not go unnoticed, with Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) tweeting out photos asking: “Where are these assault weapon pins coming from?”
It now appears we have an answer.
Where are these assault weapon pins coming from? Who is passing these out? pic.twitter.com/CVtzNHX9k2
— Rep. Jimmy Gomez (@RepJimmyGomez) February 1, 2023
Turns out Clyde, who Business Insider revealed last year owns Georgia's No. 4-ranked firearms store, is responsible for dishing out the pins. He even says he has “plenty more to give out.”
“I’m Congressman Andrew Clyde for Georgia’s 9th District,” Rep. Clyde says in a video posted to Twitter on Thursday night claiming credit for the stunt.
“I hear that this little pin I’ve been giving out on the House floor has been triggering some of my Democrat colleagues,” he continues, no doubt referencing Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), who described them as “despicable and an insult to all of the victims of assault weapons,” and Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), who asked simply, “What is wrong with you?”
Clyde then explains his decision to hand out the pins and urges those who want one to visit his office.
“I give it out to remind people of the Second Amendment of the Constitution and how important it is in preserving our liberties.
“If I missed you on the House floor, please stop by my office in Cannon, I have plenty more to give out.”
The news was greeted by Rep. Barry Moore (R-AL), who tweeted in reply: “Save a pin for me!”
Apparently I’ve been triggering some of my Democrat colleagues… pic.twitter.com/3qJB1bRuBP
— Rep. Andrew Clyde (@Rep_Clyde) February 2, 2023
It came on the same day Rep. Clyde said he filed a measure to overturn two bills passed by the D.C. Council: one that would allow non-citizens the right to vote in local elections and another that would update the city’s outdated criminal code.
It is also National Gun Violence Survivors’ Week.
— Congresswoman Cori Bush (@RepCori) February 2, 2023