Ryan Shucard, former press secretary to Congressman Marino, pled guilty in the D.C. Superior Court to possession of an unregistered firearm and unregistered ammunition.
The judge initially sentenced Shucard to 30 days in jail, but suspended the sentence on the condition that he successfully complete six months of unsupervised probation.
In July, Shucard carried the gun with him to the Cannon House Office Building where Marino has his office. Attempting to enter the government building, Capitol Police discovered the 9mm weapon and magazine during a routine security screening. Shucard was charged with the felony of carrying a pistol with a license. Upon learning of the incident, Marino’s offices immediately placed Shucard on unpaid leave.
Shucard had been house-sitting in Alexandria, Virginia, where he also lives, when he said that he had forgotten the weapon was in his bag when he went to work on July 18th. The gun, which had been given to Shucard by his grandfather, was lawfully possessed in Virginia.
In the District, however, handguns are not allowed on the street unless carried by law enforcement. The Capitol is federal property and held to the same gun standards as any other public place in Washington. The Capitol Police Board regulations only allow staffers to carry unloaded weapons into the building if they are acting as “agents” of House members or Senators.
Shucard isn’t the first staff member to break this rule. Philip Thompson, aide to former democratic senator Jim Webb, was arrested in 2007 for carrying a loaded gun into the Russell Senate Office Building. Thompson told authorities that the gun belonged to Webb and he was acting as agent on his behalf. Webb, however, denied this claim and Thompson was charged with carrying a pistol without a license. He was never convicted.
Shucard, who has been unemployed since the incident, told the judge that he had been doing “odd jobs” to support himself.