Police arrested a 25-year-old intern who tried to bring an unloaded gun into the Longworth House office building on Monday morning.
According to Politico, the intern, Joshua Wheeler, submitted to the routine search required to enter the building. When the authorities discovered an unloaded Smith and Wesson 9mm handgun, he was in trouble.
Wheeler was charged on two accounts: carrying a gun without a license and possession of an unregistered firearm. The incident temporarily shut down the main access to the building.
The Hill reports the intern has worked for Kansas Representative Lynn Jenkins since May 18. The Republican lawmaker’s spokesman Thomas Brandt issued a statement.
“It is our current understanding this was an accident and we are in full cooperation with the Capitol Police to resolve the situation. Mr. Wheeler used poor judgement and was immediately placed on temporary leave as soon as we were informed of the arrest.”
Lynn Jenkins has been a staunch conservative lawmaker, who has regularly supported tax cuts, deregulation, and tighter border security throughout her career. She is also an advocate for gun rights as she explained on her website.
“I am a supporter of numerous pieces of legislation that would strengthen second amendment rights in our National Parks, across state lines, and in the District of Columbia.”
Bringing unregistered guns into secured government buildings is probably not what she had in mind.
The Longworth House building that Wheeler attempted to enter sits across the street from the Capitol and is one of the main office buildings used by members of the House of Representatives.
Because of Wheeler’s incident, the main entrance had to be closed off from 9 a.m. to 9:10 a.m. Afterwards, the offices returned to normal with Representatives returning from the Memorial Day weekend to get back to work.
Gun laws have been a controversial subject in Washington D.C. If Wheeler had been carrying his gun two years ago, he would have violated the city laws as well.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Washington D.C. had a total ban on carrying handguns, but a federal judge ruled that it was unconstitutional. He explained there was no defense for the law in his decision.
“There is no longer any basis on which this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny.”
That’s one less worry for the D.C. intern in his gun arrest.
[Image Credit: Longworth House Office Building/Wikimedia Commons]