A Virginia man with a “non-government issued credential,” a handgun and more than 500 rounds of ammo was arrested by U.S. Capitol Police on Friday after he was stopped at a checkpoint in downtown Washington, D.C.
Wesley Allen Beeler, 31, was arrested after he allegedly presented officers with what was described as an unauthorized inauguration credential, the Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement.
“The Suspect presented a non-government issued credential, and the officers observed a handgun in plain sight in the Suspect’s vehicle,” Capitol Police said in a statement Saturday. “A search of the vehicle also found numerous rounds of ammunition. ”
Beeler told police he was carrying a Glock semiautomatic pistol in the center armrest of his vehicle, which was loaded with 17 rounds of ammunition and a round in the chamber ready to fire, a law enforcement source told CNN.
Beeler also had 509 rounds for the pistol and 21 shotgun shells in the vehicle, a Metropolitan Police Department report obtained by The New York Times said.
Beeler’s family told The Washington Post that the arrest was a misunderstanding and that Beeler works in private security. Police spotted bumper stickers on the suspect’s vehicle including one that read “Assault Life” and another that read, “If they come for your guns, giv ’em your bullets first,” according to The Post.
The arrest comes just days after National Guard troops were deployed to Capitol Hill following the Jan. 6 insurrection that left five people dead, including a police officer.
Beeler has been charged with carrying a pistol without a license, possession of an unregistered firearm and possession of unregistered ammunition.