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Sergeant-at-Arms Staffer Arrested for Bringing Loaded Gun to Capitol

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 6:09 p.m. | Capitol Police arrested an employee with the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms for attempting to bring a loaded handgun into a Senate office building.  

Christopher Carpenter ‎of Stafford, Va., was arrested around 7 a.m. Tuesday at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, when an X-ray bag screening required to enter the building revealed a gun. Capitol Police Spokeswoman Kimberly Schneider wrote in an email to Roll Call Wednesday that Carpenter was carrying a loaded 9mm handgun in his backpack. A Capitol Police report stated that Carpenter said in addition to the magazine, he had seven rounds of ammunition.  

Schneider said Carpenter was arrested with possession of an unregistered firearm and unregistered ammunition. He was processed at Capitol Police headquarters on D Street Northeast. The Hill first reported the arrest Tuesday.  

The Capitol Police confirmed Carpenter is an employee within the office of Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Frank J. Larkin, who is the chief law enforcement and administrative officer in the Senate.  

A source with the Senate SAA said Carpenter is the manager of the Senate ID office and has been employed with the Senate SAA for a year-and-a-half. “While law enforcement completes their processing of the charges, Chris will be on annual leave before returning to work,” the source said. In the Senate SAA office, annual leave is paid leave accumulated through service with the office.  

According to the Legistorm database, Carpenter has worked as a “credentialing office manager” since May 2014. Carpenter’s LinkedIn profile also notes that he served as a U.S. Marine.

The court docket indicated Carpenter pleaded not guilty to the charges Wednesday.

According to the charging document, when the X-ray revealed a handgun, the officer asked Carpenter if he had anything in his bag, and Carpenter “indicated that the had forgot to remove his handgun from his bag this morning when he left for work.”

Carpenter also said he was licensed to carry a concealed firearm in Virginia. But the charging document noted that Carpenter does not have a license to carry a pistol in D.C. He is set to return to court on Dec. 21.


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