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A man with a gun arrested by Capitol Police at a security checkpoint calls it an ‘honest mistake.’

  • January 17, 2021

The arrest comes as law enforcement officials have tried to fortify Washington ahead of Inauguration Day on Wednesday, when they fear that extremists emboldened by the attack on the Capitol by President Trump’s supporters on Jan. 6 could seek to cause violence. A militarized “green zone” is being established downtown, National Guard members are flooding the city, and a metal fence has gone up around the Capitol grounds in advance of the swearing-in of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Mr. Beeler, of Front Royal, Va., had driven up to a security checkpoint less than half a mile from the Capitol grounds on Friday evening and presented “an unauthorized inauguration credential,” according to a statement from a Capitol Police officer filed in a District of Columbia court on Saturday. The officer, Roger Dupont, said that he had checked the credential against a list and found that it did not give Mr. Beeler authority to enter the restricted area.

Officers searched his truck, which had several gun-related bumper stickers, and found a loaded Glock pistol, 509 rounds for the pistol and 21 shotgun shells, the police said. Mr. Beeler had admitted having the Glock in the truck’s center console when he was asked if there were weapons in the car, they said.

Mr. Beeler was charged with five crimes, including possession of a weapon and ammunition in Washington without proper registration. He and his lawyer did not respond to requests for comment on Saturday, but in his interview with The Post, Mr. Beeler denied having 500 rounds of ammunition.

In an interview, Mr. Beeler’s father, Paul Beeler said his son, a father of four, was working security near the Capitol grounds in recent days and had held other security jobs in Washington over the years. Mr. Beeler has an active private security license in Virginia and is approved to carry firearms while on assignments there, according to a state website.

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