Va. Senator Claims Ownership of Gun That Led to Aide's Arrest in U.S. Capitol Complex

Associated Press
Sunday, June 17, 2007; 9:45 PM

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Sen. Jim Webb finally admitted he owns a gun that an aide was arrested for carrying into the U.S. Capitol complex in March.

Webb previously had refused to say whether the gun was his, although his senior aide -- Phillip Thompson -- had told police the weapon belonged to the Democratic senator.

"It's my gun," Webb told the Richmond Times-Dispatch in a recent interview. But how and why it was in Thompson's possession remains unclear. Webb said he didn't give the gun to Thompson, "nor did I ask him to do anything with it."

Thompson was arrested on an illegal handgun charge when he carried the loaded pistol and two loaded magazines in a briefcase into the Russell Senate office building. A federal prosecutor later dropped the charge.

Webb said little about the incident in March, saying he did not want to prejudice the outcome of Thompson's case.

"It was a matter under legal consideration, and I was precluded from saying anything," Webb told the Richmond newspaper.

Webb declined to say whether he complies with the District of Columbia's law that prohibits carrying a handgun or concealed weapon without a license.

© 2007 The Associated Press