The Virginia man who was arrested at an inauguration checkpoint in D.C. after law enforcement found at least one firearm and more than 500 rounds of ammunition in his truck said he became lost while rushing to a job and had not intended to take a firearm into Washington.
“It was an honest mistake,” Wesley Allen Beeler told The Washington Post after being released.
In a tearful interview, he said he has spent the last week working as hired security in downtown D.C. ahead of the inauguration. He was running late to work and forgot that his firearm was in his truck when he left his home in Virginia, where he said he has a license to carry. He denied that he had the 500 rounds of ammunition listed in his arrest report.
“I pulled up to a checkpoint after getting lost in D.C. because I’m a country boy,” he said. “I showed them the inauguration badge that was given to me.”
Beeler said he was given a credential by his employer, MVP Protective Services; when reached by a reporter Saturday evening, a man who answered a phone number connected with MVP said: “Unfortunately, at this time I am not authorized to speak.”
As Beeler’s credential was being checked, police said, an officer noted bumper stickers on the truck’s windows: “Assault Life” and “If they come for your guns giv ‘em your bullets first.”
The officers asked Beeler if he had weapons in the car, and he volunteered that he had a Glock in his center armrest, charging papers said. Officers found a 9mm handgun, which was loaded with a high-capacity magazine and 17 rounds of ammunition; the pistol had a round in the chamber and was ready to fire, according court documents.
“It was just me forgetting to take it out of my truck before I left for work,” he said. “I don’t know what the D.C. laws are. It still comes back on me, but I’m not a criminal.”
Beeler has been ordered not to return to the city except to appear in court or meet with his lawyer.