Representative Scott Peters of California told Reuters he downloaded the online video platform Periscope from the House floor after it became clear that chamber cameras were not operating.
The protest was the latest move by Democrats to persuade the Republican majority in Congress to take up votes on gun control measures in response to last week's mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, the deadliest in modern US history.
"The speaker (Paul Ryan) controls the cameras," Peters said. "We noticed that over lunch, he turned them off - allowed them to be turned off."
Ryan's spokesman, AshLee Strong, said in a statement: "The House cannot operate without members following the rules of the institution, so the House has recessed subject to the call of the chair."