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The GW Hatchet

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The GW Hatchet

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Former student pleads not guilty to felony charge after bringing gun to Capitol Hill

Ryan Shucard, a press secretary for Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., came into the Cannon House Office Building carrying a 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun. Hatchet File Photo
Ryan Shucard, press secretary to Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., entered the Cannon House Office Building with a 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun in his bag. Hatchet File Photo
Updated: July 23, 2014 at 12:42 p.m.

The former student who was arrested for bringing a gun into a House of Representatives office building last week was released from police custody Saturday after pleading not guilty to a felony charge.

Ryan Shucard, press secretary to Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and will return to court on Aug. 7, CQ Roll Call reported. If a court finds him guilty, Shucard could face up to five years in prison.

But Shucard’s attorney said Saturday that his client did not mean to bring a gun to work, the Washington Post reported.

“Everything points to this being completely inadvertent,” he said. “Ryan didn’t intend to bring a gun into the office building.”

Shucard was placed on unpaid leave after he was arrested Friday morning. He reportedly passed through a security checkpoint at the Cannon House Office building with an unloaded 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun and a magazine of hollow-point bullets in his bag.

Shucard, who studied in the School of Media and Public Affairs in 2009, graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in 2011, according to his LinkedIn page. He began working in Marino’s office in May and previously spent about 18 months as an assistant to Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn.

Shucard is not the first congressional staffer to bring a weapon into a Capitol Hill office building.

In 2007, an aide to then-Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va. was arrested for bringing a loaded gun to work. Prosecutors eventually dropped that case, Roll Call reported.

This post was updated to reflect the following corrections:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Ryan Shucard was an alumnus. While Shucard took classes at GW, he did not earn a degree from SMPA, University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said. The Hatchet also reported that before studying at GW, he graduated from the University of Northern Colorado. Shucard attended the University of Northern Colorado from 2006 to 2011, and went to GW in 2009, according to his LinkedIn page. We regret these errors.

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