Man arrested at the inauguration checkpoint with gun, ammunition
A man with a handgun and 500 rounds of ammunition was detained by police at a checkpoint in Washington set up ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
On Friday, at a checkpoint near the US Capitol, Wesley Allen Beeler was stopped.
Court records indicate the Beeler approached the checkpoint, but that region did not have a valid credential. Separately, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press that he had a legitimate certificate for inaugural ceremonies, but the government did not grant it and the officers did not accept it. The official was not allowed to publicly address the ongoing inquiry and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The New York Times also confirmed that Beelar's "unauthorised" inauguration credential blinked at officials was not fake.
"It was an honest mistake," Beeler told The Washington Post on Saturday after being released (US time). He said that before the inauguration, he had served as a hired security officer in Washington and had forgotten that his licensed weapon was in his truck when he left his Virginia home. He denied that he had 500 rounds of ammunition.
The court papers state Beeler told the officers that he had a pistol under his armrest, and he was arrested at the scene by police. They searched his car and found a 9 mm handgun with a high-capacity magazine, along with more than 500 rounds of ammunition in the vehicle. Authorities said he didn't have a license in Washington to carry a gun.
Without a warrant, Beeler was charged with carrying a weapon. His lawyer did not respond to a request for comment immediately.
According to sources, the man served as a private security operator and told his family that he was helping to protect central Washington.