- The Washington Times
Friday, December 10, 2021

A House aide’s ability to bring a gun into the Capitol complex is raising questions on how a weapon was able to pass unnoticed through a security check that included an X-ray screening.

Jeffrey Allsbrooks, 57, was charged Friday with four counts related to having an unregistered firearm, which wasn’t discovered by U.S. Capitol Police until after he had entered the complex.

The police didn’t notice the gun the X-ray until after Mr. Allsbrooks had entered the building. They didn’t apprehend him until eight minutes after he entered the building.

“It is odd that they got him after they identified the weapon,” another House aide said. “The whole thing is just weird about how he got through and then for how long it took for them to identify him.”

The Capitol Police declined to answer questions about the incident, saying they do not comment on ongoing investigations.

Police at an entrance to the Longworth House Office Building spotted an image of a handgun in a bag on an X-ray screen around 7:40 a.m. on Thursday.

Mr. Allsbrooks, who had already left the security checkpoint, was later identified as the owner. He was not tracked down and arrested until four minutes later, about eight minutes after he had entered the building.

He said he forgot the weapon was in his bag.

Mr. Allsbrooks was not stopped until eight minutes after the gun was discovered, police said in a press release. It took about four minutes to lock down the building.

It’s not the first time Capitol Police were slow to spot a possible weapon on the X-ray screen. In 2003, the Capitol went on alert when police belatedly identified what appeared to be an X-ray image of a handgun in a backpack that two female staffers brought into the complex. The weapon turned out to be a toy gun that was part of a Halloween costume, but Capitol Police did not spot it until well after the women had entered the Cannon House Office Building.

Mr. Allsbrooks is charged with possession of an unregistered firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of unregistered ammunition and possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device.

Capitol safety concerns increased after the Jan. 6 riot, which resulted in destroyed property and the deaths of four pro-Trump demonstrators.

A Capitol Police officer who clashed with protesters also later died of a stroke, which a medical examiner ruled was a death by natural causes.

Earlier this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she believed the Capitol is safer now than it was a year ago when pressed by a reporter.

“Of course I do,” Mrs. Pelosi said in response to the question. “We will always ensure that’s the case. We are having all of the reviews of what we passed into law and how that is being implemented.”

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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