The U.S. Capitol Police have opened an investigation into Rep. Andy Harris’ (R-MD) reported attempt to bring a firearm into the House chamber before he set off the metal detectors at the entrance on Thursday.
“One security official present saw a firearm on the person of Rep. Harris and relayed that to his superiors,” a Capitol official said in a statement to multiple outlets. “To be clear, Rep. Harris did not enter the Floor.”
The Huffington Post reported on Thursday that a police officer found a gun on Harris’ person with a hand held metal detector after the GOP lawmaker set off the magnetometer as he was trying to enter the chamber for a vote earlier in the day.
Harris’s chief of staff, Bryan Shuy, told FOX45 that “for security reasons, the Congressman never confirms whether he nor anyone else he’s with are carrying a firearm for self-defense” because “his and his family’s lives have been threatened by someone who has been released awaiting trial.”
“As a matter of public record, he has a Maryland Handgun Permit,” Shuy said. “And the congressman always complies with the House metal detectors and wanding. The Congressman has never carried a firearm on the House floor.”
Acting Sergeant at Arms for the House Timothy Blodgett had the metal detectors installed at the entrance after a violent mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters ransacked the Capitol building.
Several Republicans have flouted the security screening, prompting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to push for a fine of $5000 for lawmakers who refuse to comply with the new security measures.