GOP lawmaker's town hall erupts in shouting over mass shootings, Trump

Rep. Chris StewartChristopher (Chris) Douglas StewartGOP lawmaker offering bill protecting LGBTQ rights with religious exemptions House GOP wants Senate Republicans to do more on impeachment How House Republicans have stayed unified on impeachment MORE’s (R-Utah) town hall event reportedly erupted in shouting Wednesday as the lawmaker addressed constituents about the recent mass shootings.

Attendees of the event in North Salt Lake broke into yelling after Stewart’s first question focused on how the government could keep residents safe following the outbreak of gun violence, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.


The event reportedly became so contentious that Stewart told attendees he would walk out unless it became more civil, which brought it back in line.

Stewart fielded one question and answered that everyone should condemn violence and racism, to which attendee Jamie Carter responded, “then why did you vote no to condemn racism?”

Carter was referring to a resolution the House passed last month condemning President TrumpDonald John TrumpPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump FBI identifies Pensacola shooter as Saudi Royal Saudi Air Force second lieutenant Trump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax MORE’s attacks on four minority congresswomen, which Stewart voted against.

“By your question, you’re implying I’m a racist,” Stewart said, drawing the ire from many who disagreed. “Why would I support a racist if I wasn’t?”

He followed that up by asking “could we all agree that racism is wrong and should be condemned?”

“Could we all agree that violence regardless of the reason should always be condemned?”

But people pointed to the issue back to Trump and his perceived role in inciting the incidents.

“The president of the United States, as far as I know, hasn’t shot anyone,” Stewart said. 

As for gun control following the shootings over the weekend in Texas and Ohio that claimed more than 30 lives, Stewart has come out in support of “red flag” laws this week, according to the St. George News, citing his comments at another town hall.

A “red flag” law would allow authorities to confiscate a person’s firearms for a temporary period of time if that person is accused of being a potential threat to themselves or others or is considered mentally unstable.

On Wednesday he told the attendees that people carrying guns stop mass shootings “more often than they realize.”

Stewart also noted that he supports increasing funding for schools to improve safety.