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Washington (AFP) – A congressional aide was arrested Friday as he carried a handgun and magazine into an office building in the U.S. Capitol complex, police said.

Ryan Shucard, press secretary to Republican congressman Tom Marino of Pennsylvania, was arrested at 9:15 am at the Cannon House Office Building and charged with carrying a pistol without a license, which is a felony, said Capitol Police spokeswoman Lieutenant Kimberly Schneider.

“A Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun and magazine were discovered during an administrative search required for entry into the building,” she said.

Visitors to the Capitol complex and staffers with identification badges, like Shucard, must walk through metal detectors at entrance points and put their bags and other belongings through an X-Ray machine.

The House Sergeant at Arms office confirmed the arrest and said the building’s southeast entrance was briefly closed.

“We are told he forgot it in his bag,” and there was no physical confrontation during the incident, a person with knowledge of the case told AFP.

Marino’s office reportedly placed Shucard on unpaid leave.

“That will last until we know more about the situation,” chief of staff Bill Tighe told CQ Roll Call.

In 2007, a senior aide to then-senator Jim Webb was arrested for trying to bring a loaded pistol belonging to Webb into a Senate office building.

AFP Photo/Mark Wilson

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.