Police Arrest Man Found With Guns in Vehicle Near U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON — The Capitol Police arrested a man and detained two other people on Wednesday afternoon after discovering guns inside their vehicle on the Capitol grounds.

The driver, Tony H. Payne, 80, of Tunnel Hill, Ga., was charged with bringing weapons to the Capitol, the Capitol Police said in a statement.

The police investigated, they said, after noticing Mr. Payne’s white van parked illegally on the grounds between the Capitol and the Supreme Court. Mr. Payne then told the officers that he had guns with him.

“The driver, another man and a woman were all detained during the search,” the Capitol Police said in a statement. “Officers found two handguns and a shotgun inside the van.” The police added that the three people said that “they were here to deliver documents to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Dozens of people are arrested every year for bringing weapons to the Capitol, according to the Capitol Police.

Security measures on the Capitol grounds — which include barricades, metal detectors and guarded checkpoints — have been tightened in the wake of the Jan. 6., 2021, attack, and lawmakers are experiencing a surge in threats and confrontations. Democratic lawmakers have also proposed expanding the ban on firearms on the grounds to lawmakers, who are exempt from the rule but still may not carry guns onto the floor of the House or the Senate.

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