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Capitol Police investigate whether GOP Rep. Andy Harris tried to take gun on House floor

The recently installed metal detectors at the doors to the House chamber have become a flashpoint among some Republican members.
House Freedom Caucus
Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., speaks outside the U.S. Capitol on Dec. 3.Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images file

U.S. Capitol Police are investigating a report that Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., tried to take a gun onto the house floor Thursday, a department spokesperson said.

During a House vote Thursday afternoon, Harris was stopped at security and then immediately turned around. He briefly huddled with Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., by the elevators and may have discussed the weapon with Katko, according to a report by HuffPost.

"One security official present saw a firearm on the person of Rep. Harris and relayed that to his superiors," a Capitol official told NBC News. "To be clear, Rep. Harris did not enter the Floor."

The metal detectors were ordered put in place by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., after the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. They have become a flashpoint among some Republican members, and they have at times created tension with police.

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Some Republican members have chafed at walking through magnetometers and submitting to hand wandings. At one door alone Thursday, at least a half-dozen evaded or brushed past officers, despite the threat of fines.

The Capitol official added that House members are allowed to carry firearms "in the halls and on Capitol grounds, including the Capitol Building but not the Floor," adding that "ammo has to be separately compartmentalized."

Harris' office responded to a request for comment overnight.

"Because his and his family's lives have been threatened by someone who has been released awaiting trial, for security reasons, the Congressman never confirms whether he nor anyone else he's with are carrying a firearm for self-defense. As a matter of public record, he has a Maryland Handgun Permit. And the congressman always complies with the House metal detectors and wanding. The Congressman has never carried a firearm on the House floor," the statement said.

Alex Moe contributed.