Congressman Who Poses With AR-15 In DC Could Face Probe
A Republican member of Congress who posed for a photo with an assault rifle in his office could face investigation for violating the District of Columbia’s gun laws, the city's attorney general’s office said on Tuesday.
Representative Ken Buck, of Colorado, on Thursday tweeted a picture of himself and Representative Trey Gowdy, a Republican from South Carolina, holding an AR-15 rifle.
Reporters alerted the office of District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine to the photo, and the information was passed on to the city's Metropolitan Police Department to investigate, said spokesman Robert Marus.
“It is illegal to possess an assault rifle in the District of Columbia,” he said.
In a statement, Buck said he received permission from the U.S. Capitol Police to bring the inoperable rifle to the office, where it hangs in a locked case.
“It is a beautiful, patriotic paperweight,” Buck said of the rifle, which is painted to look like the U.S. flag.
Marus said that determining whether Buck’s AR-15 was legal or not would be up to police. A Metropolitan Police spokesman referred questions to Capitol Police.
A spokesman for the Capitol Police said rules allowed lawmakers to keep firearms inside their offices. Lawmakers and their employees also can transport guns on Capitol grounds if they are unloaded and securely wrapped, he said.
The U.S. capital has some of the country's most restrictive gun laws. Last year a federal judge upheld a law that bans assault weapons in the city and requires owners of other firearms to pass a test and safety course.
Following the mass school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012, NBC News anchor David Gregory had a scrape with District authorities after bringing a 30-round magazine to "Meet the Press,” which is filmed in Washington.
The magazine was barred under District law. Police investigated but decided not to bring charges.
(Editing by Ian Simpson and Lisa Lambert of Rueters)