Summer Intern Arrested After Bringing Unloaded Handgun to US Capitol

U.S. Capitol Police arrested a summer intern this morning.

June 1, 2015, 11:26 AM

— -- A congressional intern was arrested Monday as he entered a House office building in possession of an unloaded gun.

25-year-old Joshua Wheeler, of Atchison, Kansas, is a summer intern for Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kansas, Jenkins's office confirmed to ABC News.

As Wheeler attempted to enter the Longworth House Office Building -- where more than 100 lawmakers have their Congressional offices -- he submitted to an administrative search required for entry into all Congressional Office Buildings when officers discovered an unloaded Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun, authorities said.

Aside from members of Congress, anyone entering any buildings within the Capitol complex is required to be screened by magnetometers.

Wheeler was charged with carrying a pistol without a license and possessing an unregistered firearm.

He has been put on temporary leave -- he won't receive his stipend -- until the conclusion of the Capitol Police investigation, according to Jenkins's communications director Tom Brandt. The office will then decide whether to keep him on through June 26, the last day of his internship.

"We believe this was an accident and we are in full cooperation with the Capitol Police to resolve the situation," Brandt said.

Brandt says Wheeler was a well regarded and qualified intern, and had done "nothing to suggest" this kind of behavior during his first few weeks with the office.

U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman Lt. Kimberly Schneider said Wheeler did not have any ammunition with him. He is currently being processed at USCP headquarters on Capitol Hill, authorities said.

Last summer, in a stretch of six days, officers caught two individuals bringing firearms into the Capitol.

Capitol Police have had their own share of issues with firearms, including three separate embarrassing incidents this year when officers left firearms unattended in the Capitol’s public restrooms.

U.S. Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine told lawmakers last month that “additional training on what to do when you have to go to the bathroom” is being administered to officers.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events