Far-right GOP congressman boycotts House gun violence hearing – claims it ‘exploits’ kids after 19 were shot dead
Congressman Andy Biggs speaking with supporters of President of the United States Donald Trump at a "Keep America Great" rally. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), the former chairman of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, announced he is boycotting Wednesday's House hearing on gun violence, claiming it exploits children.

The hearing, which is currently being held, is focused on the victims and survivors of the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, in which 29 people in total, including 19 elementary school children, were killed.

"I will not be physically attending the first panel of the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s hearing on gun violence today," said Congressman Biggs, who sits on that committee. "I object strongly to the Democrats’ exploitation of children who have been victimized so recently in Uvalde."

In a statement, Rep. Biggs accused House Democrats of exploiting "children who have been victimized so recently in Uvalde."

USA Today reports the child who is testifying is "Miah Cerrillo, an 11-year-old who smeared herself with her slain friend's blood to play dead during the May 24 mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas."

Her father, Miguel, told USA TODAY this week that Miah is sharing her survival story to "make safer schools."

Biggs claims he has "no objection to holding a congressional hearing that considers crime, violence, and guns in America," but the "child who is being brought to testify before the Committee this morning was recently victimized and traumatized. The Chair of this committee is re-victimizing and re-traumatizing this child for political purposes," Biggs says.

No one is being forced to appear before the House Committee, those testifying are appearing of their own free will.

In 2019 Biggs called a Democratic-sponsored gun control bill "unconstitutional." Earlier this year Biggs bragged he was leading the effort to "curb" the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) "assault on Second Amendment rights."

Last year at the far right Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Biggs declared his opposition to the Biden administration's nominee to head the ATF: "The first thing you've got to do is stop the guy that's going to enforce the laws."