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US : Lawmaker arrested for allegedly bringing gun to pro-Palestinian rally

The New York City Police Department on Friday says it has arrested a Republican city councilwoman after she was spotted with a handgun protruding from her pants at a pro-Palestinian rally in Brooklyn.

Authorities say Inna Vernikov, 39, was taken into custody around 3 a.m. and charged with criminal possession of a firearm following yesterday’s demonstration at Brooklyn College, Fox News reported.

“The Councilwoman was at the location observing a pro-Palestine protest which was taking place, and in the course of doing so, the Councilwoman was observed with the butt-end of a firearm (handgun) protruding from the front portion of her pants,” the NYPD said. “This image was disseminated on social media, per photos taken at the scene by various individuals.”

Vernikov, who represents southern Brooklyn, later turned herself into police “and both her firearm (which she is licensed to possess) and her permit license were surrendered,” the NYPD added. “At no point in time was anyone menaced or injured as a result of her possessing the firearm at the earlier protest.”

Vernikov recorded a video of herself at the rally, saying “If you are here today standing with these people, you are nothing short of a terrorist without the bombs.”

“I’m here at the pro-Hamas rally in Brooklyn College. There is a ton of police, and we made sure that Jewish students feel safe today,” she said in a clip posted on X, during which a crowd behind her waving Palestinian flags could be heard chanting “Free free Palestine!”

“This is what they are doing, protesting, supporting Hamas, asking to globalize the intifada, to bring the terror that the people of Israel are experiencing now, to bring it here to New York City,” Vernikov added.

Vernikov did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday from Fox News Digital.

New York state law says “A person is guilty of criminal possession of a firearm, rifle or shotgun in a sensitive location when such person possesses a firearm, rifle or shotgun in or upon a sensitive location, and such person knows or reasonably should know such location is a sensitive location.”

The law identifies sensitive locations as including “any building or grounds, owned or leased, of any educational institutions, colleges and universities” and “any gathering of individuals to collectively express their constitutional rights to protest or assemble.”

New York State Sen. Julia Salazar, a self-described Democratic socialist who represents Brooklyn, ripped Vernikov for her alleged actions, writing on X that “There is no excuse, none whatsoever, for an elected official to bring a firearm to a college campus in New York.

“To go even further by allegedly brandishing the gun to intimidate Palestinian students is beyond anything I’ve seen before,” she added. “And I’ve seen some s—.”


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