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An unnamed woman was asked to leave a gun control hearing at Connecticut’s State Capitol building on Monday, after she was seen drafting a text threatening to shoot a Republican lawmaker and National Rifle Association members.
Reporter Mark Davis from WTNH-TV tweeted an image of the woman’s text, which read, “If I had a gun, I’d blow away Sampson and a large group of NRA…”
Woman expelled from gun hearing after being seen sending this text about a state lawmaker. pic.twitter.com/ySVc9Zm9x5
— Mark Davis (@markdavisWTNH) March 11, 2019
According to The Daily Caller and other media outlets, the woman was apparently referring to state Sen. Rob Sampson (R), a recipient of an NRA “Defender of Freedom Award,” who was present at the Judiciary Committee hearing.
The CTPost reported that the woman was escorted out of the hearing and asked to leave the building by Capitol Police, after another person at the hearing saw her message and complained. Capitol Police Chief Walter Lee Jr. told the outlet, “she left without incident,” and was not arrested because her behavior wasn’t threatening enough to reach the level of violating state statute.
Sampson told the Post of the message, “Sad to say it’s not the first time I’ve been threatened in this job.”
Several measures were slated for discussion at the hearing, including a bill that would prohibit municipalities for enacting their own firearms laws, and a move that would require anyone who open-carries to produce a permit if asked by police, The Daily Caller reported.
Lawmakers also discussed legislation known as “Ethan’s law,” which would require all firearms to be “safely stored” in homes with a minor under the age of 18, WVIT-TV reported. The bill is named after Ethan Song, a teenager who accidentally shot and killed himself at a friend’s home last January with a gun that had been stored away in a cardboard box in a closet.
Also during the hearing, gun control advocate Jeremy Stein — who is executive director of CT Against Gun Violence — was allowed to bring a piece of a firearm through security to use as a prop. Democratic state Sen. Gary Winfield told CT Post, “I have the feeling it never should have come in.” The use of props are prohibited during public hearings, according to committee rules.