Capitol police arrest Virginia man who tried to pass security checkpoint with weapons, ‘unauthorized’ inauguration credential

Lindsay Schnell

Erin Mansfield


Police in Washington, D.C., on Friday arrested a Virginia man who allegedly tried to pass through a security checkpoint with an “unauthorized” inauguration credential, unregistered handguns and more than 500 rounds of ammunition, according to officials.

Wesley Allen Beeler, 31, of Front Royal, Virginia, was arrested shortly after 6:30 p.m. Friday after police found two unregistered Glock 9MM handguns, 509 rounds of 9 mm ammunition, 21 12-gauge shotgun shells, and one 17-round Glock 17 magazine, all in his car, according to a police report. 

At the time of arrest one mile northeast of the Capitol building, Beeler was accused of illegally carrying a concealed weapon outside of a home or business, possession of an unregistered firearm, possession of unregistered ammunition, unlawful possession of ammunition and possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device.

Ongoing investigations: Capitol riot investigators focus on police officers, first responders in lawless fray

Beeler drove up to a security checkpoint and had window decals on his truck reading, “Assault Life,” and “If they come for your guns, give ’em your bullets first,” according to an affidavit filed in D.C. Superior Court. He handed officers “unauthorized” inauguration credential for the upcoming swearing in of President-elect Joe Biden.

Officers asked him to pull over for further security, according to the affidavit. 

Officers asked if there was anything in the vehicle that would harm them, and Beeler said he had a handgun in the center console, according to the affidavit. They removed him from the truck and, in addition to the handgun, saw the “butt-end” of a gun in plain sight. Officers searched the truck and found the additional guns and ammunition. 

The Metropolitan Police Department provided a report of the incident to USA TODAY. MPD referred all inquiries on the matter to the U.S. Capitol Police. That department has not responded to USA TODAY’s requests for comment. 

Capitol police and other authorities are on high alert after the Jan. 6 riot that left five people dead, including a police officer, as a mob stormed the grounds of the Capitol hoping to halt the election certification process.

In preparation for Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, more than 20,000 National Guard troops are on the ground in D.C., and much of the area has been fenced off.

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