Marines delayed from entering Capitol with ceremonial rifles

Marines delayed from entering Capitol with ceremonial rifles
© Kristina Wong / The Hill

A small group of Marine color guards were delayed from proceeding to a ceremony on Capitol Hill on Monday afternoon where they were scheduled to perform over concerns with their ceremonial drill rifles. 

The Marines had arrived at the Capitol with two rifles that were inoperable and unable to be loaded, but were still delayed at least 20 minutes while Capitol Police verified the rifles were inert.  

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A handful of Capitol Police were at the scene on Monday, which took place at the south entrance of the Cannon Building. Three Marines had entered and were waiting inside the building, while one Marine stayed at the entrance just inside the building with the rifles in their carrying case. 

The Marines had arrived to the building in full dress uniforms to "present the colors," a military ceremony to display the American flag, among other national symbols. 

According to the Marine Corps website, "The Color Guard is responsible for rendering appropriate military honors." 

"This traditional formation adds dignity to any military-related activity, parade, or civic event by showing respect to our Nation and those who have served," it said. 

At one point, one of the Marines was on his cellphone outside of the building and could be overheard trying to explain the situation to someone. 

The situation was eventually resolved, with the Marines eventually allowed to bring the mock rifles into the building and perform at the ceremony.

The incident indicated that police aren't taking any chances. Last week, the Capitol went on lockdown after police thought they saw a female staffer with a gun in her purse.

Andrews Air Force Base recently went on lockdown after an active shooter drill was mistaken for an actual incident. 

A Capitol Police officer said Monday that during last week's incident, a female staffer had something in her purse that looked like a gun, but was not actually a gun.