Republicans scrutinized for AR-15 photo
Police in Washington, D.C., have been referred materials for a possible investigation into two Republican congressmen who posed for a picture with an assault rifle in a House office building.
Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) last week tweeted a picture of himself and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the leader of the House’s Benghazi investigation, holding an AR-15.
Having the AR-15 in the District could be a violation of the city’s strict gun laws, and the city attorney general’s office has referred the matter to police, a spokesman told The Hill.
“The matter has been referred to the Metropolitan Police Department for further investigation,” he said.
Buck said in the tweet the assault rifle is his and the picture was taken after Gowdy “stopped by.”
— Congressman Ken Buck (@RepKenBuck) April 16, 2015
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.
This isn’t the first time a prominent public figure has run up against Washington’s gun laws.
Following the mass school shooting in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012, then-NBC host David Gregory had a dust-up with local authorities after he brought a 30-round high-capacity gun magazine on “Meet the Press,” which is filmed in Washington.
Local police investigated, but eventually decided not to bring charges against Gregory.
The spokesman for the D.C. attorney general reiterated that AR-15s are prohibited in the city.
“It is illegal to possess an AR-15 in the District,” the spokesman said.
Last updated at 1:07 p.m.