Fact Check

Were GOP Members of Congress Photographed Wearing AR-15 Pins?

At least two members of Congress wore the lapel pins, and a third had taken credit for their distribution.

Published Feb 6, 2023

 (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Image Via Win McNamee/Getty Images
Some GOP members of Congress were photographed wearing AR-15-shaped pins in February 2023.

On Feb. 1, 2023, at least two GOP members of Congress were photographed wearing an AR-15-shaped rifle pin: U.S.Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., and Rep. Ana Paulina Luna, R-Fla. The lapels were spotted by Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif.:

As The Daily Beast reported, this was not the first time that such a pin appeared on a U.S representative. Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., had been photographed with the pin in June 2021. In a later tweet, Clyde took credit for their 2023 appearance, announcing on Twitter that he handed the AR-15 pins out, and that he had plenty to spare:

Clyde is the owner of a gun store in his home state of Georgia. As reported by the Washington Post, the AR-15 pins were not the first weapons-based souvenir promoted by some GOP members of the 118th Congress:

Clyde's distribution of the gun-shaped pins comes after newly elected Rep. Cory Mills (R-Fla.) passed out dummy grenades stamped with the GOP logo last week to other members of Congress, along with a note on his office letterhead emphasizing that the ordnance was made in Florida.

Because the photograph is genuine, the claim is "True."


"GOP Rep. Clyde Hands out Assault-Rifle Lapel Pins to House Colleagues." Washington Post. www.washingtonpost.com, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/02/03/assault-rifle-pins-gop-clyde/. Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

"Rep. Andrew Clyde Wears a Tie Pin in the Shape of a Firearm as He..." Getty Images, https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/rep-andrew-clyde-wears-a-tie-pin-in-the-shape-of-a-firearm-news-photo/1323532959. Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Young, Matt. "GOP Rep. Responsible for AR-15 Pins Reveals Himself." The Daily Beast, 3 Feb. 2023. www.thedailybeast.com, https://www.thedailybeast.com/andrew-clyde-reveals-himself-as-source-of-ar-15-assault-rifle-pins.

Alex Kasprak is an investigative journalist and science writer reporting on scientific misinformation, online fraud, and financial crime.