The D.C. Attorney General is “looking into” whether Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) broke any of the city’s stringent gun laws when the two congressman posed with an inoperable AR-15 rifle (via The Hill):
Having the AR-15 in the Cannon House Office Building could be a violation of the District’s strict gun laws, and the Washington, D.C., Attorney General’s Office is “looking into the matter,” a spokesman told The Hill.
Buck told The Hill the rifle is “inoperable” and that he received approval from U.S. Capitol Police to bring it to his office, where it is on display in a locked case.
“I have a very patriotic AR-15 hanging in my office. It hangs directly above my Second Amendment flag,” Buck said.
“While safety protocols call for all guns to be treated as if they are loaded, this one isn't. Further, a close inspection of the only public photo of the rifle will show that the bolt carrier assembly is not in the rifle; it is in fact in Colorado.”
“It is a beautiful, patriotic paper weight,” he added.
The publication also noted the David Gregory incident, where the former host of NBC’s Meet The Press presented a high-capacity magazine on live television in December of 2012. Gregory was interviewing the NRA’s Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. After two years and a lawsuit, William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection was able to obtain a copy of what would have been Gregory’s arrest warrant. Irvin Nathan–the city’s attorney general at the time–decided not to go forward because, as Jacobson put it, “Gregory was just too nice a guy and had no other criminal intent.”
It’s another episode that reinforces the notion that D.C. is still hostile to our Second Amendment rights.
UPDATE: It appears to be legal (via WaPo):
Though illegal for the general public to bring a gun into the U.S. Capitol, it’s not for Buck because he is a member of Congress, authorities say.Correction: Sorry about the original headline, folks! The AR-15 does not have a selective firing capability, thus not exactly an "Assault Rifle." (Matt)
Lt. Kimberly Schneider, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Capitol Police, said members of Congress “may maintain firearms within the confines of their office.
"Not only that, Schneider said, members “and any employee or agent of any Member of Congress may transport” weapons within the Capitol grounds as long as the “firearms unloaded and securely wrapped.”
David Benowitz, a defense attorney in D.C. who handles gun cases, said federal law allows people to transport secured weapons from one place where they’re allowed to another place they’re allowed, even if going through an area where they’re restricted. That would mean Buck was safe carrying the gun through the District to his office on Capitol Hill.