Rep. Andy Harris had gun at House checkpoint, official says; aide says lawmaker had been threatened

Rep. Andy Harris had gun at House checkpoint, official says; aide says lawmaker had been threatened

U.S. Capitol Police are investigating a report that Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland was stopped outside the House chamber with a gun, the latest Republican lawmaker to run afoul of heightened security screening following the Jan. 6 Capitol siege. An aide to the Baltimore County lawmaker said in a statement Friday that the congressman possesses a handgun permit, and suggested the weapon is intended for self-defense following a threat. Bryan Shuy, Harris’ chief of staff, did not deny statements by a Capitol official and an eyewitness that Harris was stopped Thursday at a House checkpoint because he was carrying a gun. A security official “saw a firearm on the person of Rep. Harris and relayed that to his superiors” as Harris sought to enter the chamber, said the Capitol official with knowledge of the events. “To be clear, Rep. Harris did not enter the floor,” said the official. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter. Shuy said Harris’ and his family’s lives “have been threatened by someone who has been released awaiting trial.” Asked who made the threats, Harris spokesperson Walter Smoloski said he “can’t comment on who the statement refers to.” The House placed metal detectors outside the chamber’s doors in the week after violent supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed and ransacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, threatening members and then-Vice President Mike Pence. The rioters were trying to halt Congress from finalizing the Nov. 3 election results […]

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