The Office of the Attorney General for Washington, D.C. “looked into” whether Republican Reps. Trey Gowdy and Ken Buck broke the law when they posed for a picture holding a model AR-15.
The inquiry, which appears to have no merit and is now in the hands of D.C.’s Metropolitan Police, began after several news outlets raised the question, The Daily Caller has learned.
Buck, a Colorado Republican, posted the picture to his Twitter account last week. It shows him and Gowdy, a Republican from South Carolina, holding a decorated AR-15.
“OAG looked into the matter of the District’s law regarding the legality of the possession of weapons such as the AR-15 in the District of Columbia,” district attorney spokesman Robert Marus told TheDC.
Washington D.C. has some of the toughest gun and ammunition laws in the U.S.
“We did this in response to questions from several news outlets,” Marus said. “We have referred all information that we have received about the matter to the Metropolitan Police Department, which is the agency that would conduct any investigation into whether a violation of the law occurred.”
— Congressman Ken Buck (@RepKenBuck) April 16, 2015
Buck told The Hill that the gun is “inoperable” and called it “a beautiful, patriotic paper weight.”
He also told the website that he sought and obtained approval from U.S. Capitol Police to keep it in his office, where it is kept in a glass case.
A spokeswoman for the Capitol Police told TheDC that members of Congress are indeed allowed to keep unloaded firearms in their offices.
Lt. Kimberly Schneider said that Capitol Police Bureau regulations “specifically provide that Members of Congress may maintain firearms within the confines of their office and they and any employee or agent of any Member of Congress may transport within the Capitol Grounds firearms unloaded and securely wrapped.”
Besides not having any ammunition, Buck indicated to The Hill that the AR-15 does not have the equipment in place to allow it to fire.
“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,” Buck told The Hill.