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Georgia man arrested on gun charges near Capitol allegedly told police he was there to 'deliver documents' to Supreme Court

Police said Tony H. Payne, 80 faces three firearms-related charges. Weapons are prohibited on Capitol grounds.
U.S. Capitol Police investigate near the Supreme Court and Capitol after reports of a suspicious vehicle in which two men and a woman were detained with guns, in Washington, on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022.
U.S. Capitol Police investigate a suspicious vehicle near the Capitol on Wednesday.J. Scott Applewhite / AP

A Georgia man was arrested on weapons charges Wednesday after police said they found two handguns and a shotgun in a van he was driving in Washington, D.C., with plans to “deliver documents” to the Supreme Court.

U.S. Capitol Police said they arrested Tony H. Payne, 80, of Tunnel Hill, who faces three charges: unregistered firearm, unregistered ammunition and carrying a pistol without a license.

Authorities said they first noticed an illegally parked vehicle on Capitol grounds and then arrested Payne after, they alleged, he admitted to having firearms in the van. Weapons are prohibited on Capitol grounds.

A hazardous incident response team conducted a more detailed search of the van after a pipe and containers were found inside, Capitol Police said. They later said the items did not pose a threat.

Police said they detained Payne and his two companions — another man and a woman — during the search. Capitol Police said in a news release, "The individuals told our investigators they were here to deliver documents to the U.S. Supreme Court," which is near the Capitol.

A Capitol Police spokesperson declined to comment on the nature of the alleged documents, citing the investigation.

The man and the woman accompanying Payne, who were not publicly identified, were released without charges, police said.

Payne could not be reached for comment. The Supreme Court did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Concerns swirled and additional security measures were put in place this year to help ensure the safety of Supreme Court justices amid heightened tensions over the court's ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.

In June, a man armed with a handgun, a knife, pepper spray and burglary tools was arrested near Justice Brett Kavanaugh's home. Nicholas John Roske pleaded not guilty.