Capitol Police arrested a Virginia man Friday for allegedly attempting to pass through security checkpoints with an “unauthorized” credential. The man allegedly carried “unregistered” firearms and more than 500 rounds of ammunition.
Capitol Police Arrested Man on Gun Possession Charges
Police arrested Wesley Allen Beeler Friday evening after searching his vehicle and finding two unregistered Glock 9mm handguns. Officials say Beeler also possessed 509 rounds of 9mm ammunition. Police also found 21 12-gauge shotgun shells and one 17-round Glock 17 magazine, reported USA Today.
Of course the news reports make Beeler out to sound like an armed terrorist. And maybe he is. But isn’t because he possessed a 17-round magazine or less than a box of shotgun shells.
However, Beeler very well may have broken the law. The District of Columbia maintains extremely strict gun laws, even for residents. It certainly doesn’t take a leap to project Beeler illegally transported guns into the District.
But Beeler said he didn’t mean to. He reportedly claimed to make an honest mistake. He told news outlets he worked security in D.C., leading up to the Biden inauguration.
A Simple Mistake?
“I pulled up to a checkpoint after getting lost in D.C. because I’m a country boy,” he said, reported USA Today. “I showed them the inauguration badge that was given to me.”
But when his credentials apparently didn’t match up, police asked him to pull over. After observing “Assault Life” and “If they come for your guns, give ’em the bullets first” stickers on his truck, officers asked if he had any weapons. Beeler then offered up he did posses weapons in the truck, reported USA Today. So officers search his truck, found the Glocks and arrested him.
“Officers observed a handgun in plain sight in the Suspect’s vehicle,” a Capitol Police spokesperson emailed USA Today. “A search of the vehicle also found numerous rounds of ammunition.”
Police released Beeler on his own recognizance Saturday. He now faces several charges, including possession of an unregistered firearm, ammunition and large-capacity feeding device.
In these uncertain times, police will continue looking for any scenario that could be a potential threat ahead of the inauguration. And in this case, Beeler may have just made a simple mistake. In most of the U.S., with the proper carry license, the man broke no laws. But D.C. simply isn’t one of those places.