Police Say GOP Rep Criticized For Posing With Assault Rifle Broke No Laws

04/21/2015 05:10 pm ET | Updated Apr 21, 2015

A Republican congressman who was criticized last week after posting a photo showing that he owns an AR-15 in Washington, D.C., is allowed to have the weapon in his office, Capitol Police told The Huffington Post.

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) tweeted a photo of himself posing with Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and an AR-15 he identified as his own. But D.C. bans assault weapons like the AR-15, and the city attorney general’s office told The Hill that it had referred the matter to the Metropolitan Police Department for further investigation.

The Metropolitan Police Department referred HuffPost to the Capitol Police Department, which noted that D.C.'s ban does not apply to any member of Congress or their employees while at the Capitol.

"[Capitol Police Board] 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," Lieutenant Kimberly Schneider said.

In a statement released from his office, Buck described the gun as "a beautiful, patriotic paper weight" and said Capitol Police gave him permission to bring the rifle into the office.

“While safety protocols call for all guns to be treated as if they are loaded, this one isn’t," he said. "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."

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