The Secret Service arrested a man Wednesday after finding a hunting rifle, dozens of rounds of ammunition and a knife in the trunk of his car parked near the White House.
R.J. Kapheim, 41, was arrested on a charge of having an unregistered firearm, which is illegal in the U.S. capital city.
Kapheim was arrested after he approached uniformed officers and explained that someone in the state of Iowa told him to drive to the White House. He later showed them to his car parked nearby and let officers search the vehicle.
It was unclear if Kapheim had a lawyer.
The Secret Service, which protects the president and his family among others, has been widely criticized 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. According to an executive summary of a Homeland Security review of that incident, some officers on the White House grounds that night thought thick bushes near the building's front door would stop the intruder. They were also surprised when he was able to walk through a pair of doors, which were unlocked.
Earlier Wednesday, Acting Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy told a congressional panel that the agency has fallen short of its goal of perfection and being in the spotlight has had detrimental effects on morale and operational security, "both with potentially dire consequences."
Associated Press writer Erica Werner contributed to this report.