We got tipped about this a little while ago, as did a bunch of other people — including Wonkette. I doubt our tipsters are the same as Denton’s, so there’s your two independent sources.
Jed Babbin says it’s a serious felony but John Lott thinks the gun probably belonged to Webb. Webb is allowed to carry it; the staffer apparently is not. If that’s the case, they’ll probably just plead freshman ignorance as to the rules about farming this particular duty out to aides and be let off with a warning.
Webb seems to be fairly solidly in favor of gun rights so he’s covered from the hypocrisy charge, at least.
Update: A source tells me that the Capitol police have confirmed the arrest now. The gun was loaded and there were two other fully loaded magazines in the bag. The gun and ammo were unregistered, too, although I’m not sure if that means unregistered generally or registered to someone other than the staffer.
Update (Bryan): I spent the better part of the early afternoon trying to nail this story down before posting. And it is a story, irrespective of where Webb happens to stand on gun rights. When a staffer to a Senator gets wrapped up in a potential felony, it is a story. And it is a story upon which some interesting questions might be based. The notion that the gun belongs to Webb, and not the staffer, could be just a cover story for all we know at this point. How the gun, loaded and with loaded magazines, got into the bag is a question worth asking. How often said gun gets carried around either by Webb or the staffer and whether it has made its way past Capitol security in the past is yet another possible line of inquiry. I am not saying that this is the biggest story evah, but it is a news story.
Now, as to my adventure with the Capitol Police today, I guess I should chalk it up to a lack of technological sophistication. I called the CP three different times this afternoon to ask about this story, I got a different officer on the line each time, and asked for a specific Sgt in the Public Information office. Each time, the officer went to transfer me, only to lose my call. Someone needs some phone training, perhaps. This was before anyone else on the web had posted about this story. It had yet to break on the venerable pages of Wonkette. I could wonder aloud whether a lid was being screwed down on this story or not, and I could wonder why that might have been happening.