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By Luke Tress

New York Jewish Week via JTA — Jewish New York City Councilwoman Inna Vernikov was arrested on Friday after appearing with a handgun outside a pro-Palestinian protest, as tensions flared in the city following Hamas’ devastating attack on Israel, and Israel’s military response in Gaza.

Vernikov, a Republican, attended the protest at Brooklyn College on Thursday afternoon to repudiate the pro-Palestinian demonstrators.

“There is a ton of police and we made sure that Jewish students feel safe,” she said in a video she posted from the scene to X, as protesters chanted “Free Palestine” behind her.

She also brought a gun, according to police, and images from the scene that showed a gun tucked into her waistband. While Vernikov had a license to own a gun, guns are not permitted in “sensitive locations” in New York, including on college campuses and at protests.

One image was posted on social media by Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, a progressive group, which charged that Vernikov “brought a GUN to a rally to intimidate students” and used the hashtag #ExpelVernikov.

Police contacted Vernikov after the images circulated and she turned herself into the NYPD’s 70th precinct, where she was charged with criminal possession of a firearm. A protest is considered a “sensitive location” under New York firearms law, and criminal possession at such an event is a felony.

Vernikov surrendered her firearms license at the precinct and could face further consequences.

The New York City Council said in a statement that the incident was being investigated and “may require the recusal of committee members.”

The council said, “It is unacceptable and unlawful for a civilian to ever bring a firearm to a rally or protest, and especially important for elected officials to model a respect for the law that is expected of all New Yorkers.”

New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul said, “New York’s gun safety laws apply to everyone.”

New York State Senator Julia Salazar said on X, “There is no excuse, none whatsoever, for an elected official to bring a firearm to a college campus in New York.”

Read the full article from the Times of Israel