A watchdog group is asking Washington’s top federal prosecutor to investigate whether Maryland Rep. Andy Harris violated the city’s firearms laws by bringing a gun to the U.S. Capitol last week.
The Campaign for Accountability, a Washington-based nonprofit organization, said the Baltimore County Republican may have violated several laws, including one barring the possession of a weapon not registered in the District of Columbia.
“Rep. Harris is not above the law and the U.S. Attorney’s Office must investigate,” said a letter from the organization this week to acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin.
Bryan Shuy, Harris’ chief of staff, did not deny statements by a Capitol official and an eyewitness that Harris was stopped last week at a House floor checkpoint because he was carrying a gun.
Shuy said last week that Harris’ and his family’s lives “have been threatened by someone” — he did not identify the person — “who has been released awaiting trial.” Shuy and others say Harris did not bring the weapon onto the floor.
D.C. law requires that firearms be registered with the local police.
Members are permitted to carry guns on the Capitol grounds, including the building itself, but not in the chamber.
Shuy’s statement said Harris has a Maryland handgun permit, but did not say if he has registered a gun in Washington.
Spokespersons for Harris and Sherwin did not respond to interview requests from the Baltimore Sun.
Alaina Gertz, a spokeswoman for Washington’s police department, told The Sun in an email on Wednesday: “Any person that wants to carry a firearm in the District of Columbia must adhere to D.C.’s firearm laws and register it in the District.” Gertz did not say if Harris had registered his gun in D.C.
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.
Harris’ district includes parts of Carroll, Harford and Baltimore counties, as well as the Eastern Shore.