WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Capitol Police were investigating an incident on Friday in which a Republican lawmaker was found carrying a concealed weapon while trying to enter the floor of the House of Representatives, a Capitol official said. Republican Rep. Andy Harris, a staunch advocate for gun rights, turned on a magnetometer passing through security on his way to the House floor Thursday night and was found to be carrying a firearm, according to a press report from Congress. The Maryland Republican then tried to turn the gun over to Republican Rep. John Katko, who refused, saying he was not licensed, according to the report. House officials installed metal detectors outside the chamber to bolster security after the Jan. 6 Capitol riots by supporters of former President Donald Trump. The assault left five dead and forced lawmakers to go into hiding. Several Republican lawmakers, ardent supporters of gun rights, have loudly complained about metal detectors and some have ignored them. Harris and Katko’s offices did not respond to requests for comment. US Capitol Police officials were also unavailable for comment. The Capitol official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said lawmakers can carry guns on Capitol grounds as long as ammunition is kept separate, but no firearms are allowed on the House floor. In the end, Harris left the Capitol and returned less than 10 minutes later, went through security without turning on the magnetometer and was allowed to enter the Chamber floor, according to the pool report. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for a rule change imposing fines on members who refuse to follow security protocols: $ 5,000 for the first offense and $ 10,000 for the second, to be deducted from legislators’ salaries. The House has yet to vote on the proposed change. (This story has been resubmitted to add the deleted word ‘separate’, 7th paragraph)
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