- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 16, 2021

A gun and over 500 rounds of ammunition were found in the truck of a Virginia man who presented unauthorized credentials at a security checkpoint set up near the U.S. Capitol, police said Saturday.

Wesley Allen Beeler, 31, of Front Royal, Va., was charged in Superior Court of the District of Columbia with carrying an unlicensed pistol and possession of an unregistered firearm and ammunition.

Mr. Beeler has since been released by a judge on his own recognizance, with no objection from prosecutors, the Washington Post reported Saturday evening.

U.S. Capitol Police said that Mr. Beeler was stopped Friday night at 6:30 p.m. at a security checkpoint established in anticipation of the upcoming inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden.

Mr. Beeler presented a “non-government issued credential,” U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement it shared with The Washington Times. 

U.S. Capitol Police Officer Roger Dupont recalled in an affidavit filed in court afterward that a colleague then “observed several firearm-related decals” on the rear windshield of Mr. Beeler‘s truck.

Among the decals on the back of the truck were ones that said along the lines of “Assault Life” and “If they come for your guns Give ‘Em your bullets first’,” the officer wrote.

Mr. Beeler was then asked if he had anything in the car that could hurt the officers and replied that he was in possession of a handgun, according to the affidavit.

Police detained Mr. Beeler and searched his truck, where they found a loaded Glock 9mm, 509 9mm rounds of hollow point and ball ammunition and twenty-one 12 gauge shotguns shells, the officer wrote.

Mr. Beeler is not registered to carry the pistol in Washington, D.C., police said in a court filing. A lawyer listed as representing Mr. Beeler did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

After his release, however, Mr. Beeler explained that he forgot his gun was in his truck, and came upon the checkpoint accidentally, reported The Washington Post. He also claims that the credential he showed officers was one supplied by his employer, MVP Protective Services, for a job in the city guarding news media equipment, the Post reported.

For its part, an individual with MVP Protective Services declined to speak on the matter, the Post reported.

A security perimeter has been established around parts of D.C. including the Capitol, where Mr. Biden is set to be sworn in as the nation’s next president Wednesday.

Supporters of President Trump, who has repeatedly denied the outcome of his failed race for re-election, stormed the Capitol last Wednesday during a deadly riot.

The FBI is monitoring online chatter about possible armed protests on and around Inauguration Day, the agency’s director said Thursday

Mr. Beeler was arrested near the intersection of North Capitol Street NE and E Street NW, according to court records.

• Ken Shepherd contributed to this report

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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