Congressional Staffer Denies Guilt in Gun Case

A Pennsylvania congressman's press secretary has pleaded not guilty to a weapons charge after U.S. Capitol Police say he carried a gun into a federal office building in Washington.

An attorney for Ryan Shucard says he entered the plea Saturday in D.C. Superior Court. His lawyer Jason Kalafat called the gun incident unintentional.

"It was a total accident," Shucard told News4's Darcy Spencer Friday afternoon.

Shucard is the press secretary for Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Marino.

Bill Tighe, Marino's chief of staff, said Shuard forgot he had the gun in his briefcase or bag Friday morning and put it on the conveyor belt at the security checkpoint just inside the Cannon House Office building.

Capitol Police say Shucard set off the metal detector with the a Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun and magazine.

He was arrested and charged with carrying a pistol outside a home or business, which is a felony. He was released Friday on his own recognizance.

Shucard has worked since May for Marino, who represents northeastern Pennsylvania and sits on the Homeland Security and Judiciary committees. Shucard has been placed on unpaid leave.

Marino's chief of staff said the congressman is taking the incident very seriously.

"Frankly, we are disappointed in Ryan's lack of judgment," Tighe said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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