An aide to Virginia’s junior Senator Jim Webb was arrested this morning trying to bring a loaded gun into the Russell Senate Office Building:
An aide to Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) was charged this morning with trying to carry a loaded pistol into the Russell Senate Office building, Capitol Police said.
The gun was discovered as the staffer passed through an x-ray machine at the C Street entrance at about 10:30 a.m., said Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, spokeswoman for the Capitol Police. He also had with him two fully loaded magazines, police said.
He was arrested and charged with carrying a pistol without a license, as well as being in possession of an unregistered firearm and unregistered ammunition.
There are unconfirmed reports on Drudge and Wonkette — admittedly two sources for whom accuracy is sometimes a secondary concern — that the gun, while unregistered, belongs to the Senator. If that’s true, this could be fun.
Update 3/27/07: According to this morning’s report in the Post, it’s clear that the gun was definiately Webb’s?
A Senate official familiar with the incident said Webb gave the gun to Thompson as Thompson drove the senator to an airport earlier in the day. When Thompson arrived at the Senate building, he forgot he was carrying the weapon, the official said.
Another source said that Webb’s gun was in a briefcase that was supposed to be dropped off at a location in Virginia before Thompson came into the District.
D.C. law bars people from carrying handguns and concealed weapons without licenses.
Webb, a first-term senator and former Marine, regularly uses a gun for target practice at the National Rifle Association shooting range, the source said. Webb was an expert marksman as a Marine and once taught marksmanship using a .45-caliber handgun, the source said. It is not clear how regularly Webb carries a concealed weapon while in Virginia.
Webb, an advocate of gun rights, declined to comment on the case or explain whether he wanted the gun in the Russell building. During his campaign last year, Webb pulled out a permit to carry a concealed weapon as a sign of his commitment to the right to bear arms.
Suprisingly, Webb apparently could have brought the gun in himself, albeit unloaded:
Any senator who has a gun permit and wants to bring a gun onto congressional property must unload the gun and make sure it is “securely wrapped,” Schneider said. In this case, the problem was that the gun was loaded and that Thompson was not registered to have it, she said.
Of course, why Webb would want the gun in his office is unclear.