Man with guns held near White House

The US Secret Service arrested an Iowa man on Wednesday afternoon after finding a hunting rifle, dozens of rounds of ammunition and a knife in the trunk of his car parked near the White House.

RJ Kapheim, 41, was arrested on a charge of having an unregistered firearm, which is illegal in the District of Columbia.

Kapheim, from Davenport, Iowa, was arrested after he approached uniformed officers on 15th Street just before 1pm and explained that someone in Iowa told him to drive to the White House. He later showed them to his car, parked nearby, and let officers search the vehicle, a 2013 Volkswagen Passat.

The Secret Service has been widely criticised in recent months after a series of serious security breaches. In September, a Texas man armed with a knife was able to climb over a White House fence and made it deep into the executive mansion.

Earlier on Wednesday, acting Secret Service director Joseph Clancy told a congressional panel the agency had fallen short of its goal of perfection and being in the spotlight had had detrimental effects on morale and operational security, “both with potentially dire consequences”.


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