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Man arrested with gun at DC security checkpoint Friday claims he made an 'honest mistake'

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Posted at 11:58 AM, Jan 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-18 11:58:21-05

A man arrested Friday for attempting to pass through a security checkpoint near the U.S. Capitol with a gun and hundreds of rounds of ammo told local media outlets that he made an "honest mistake."

On Friday, Wesley Beeler of Front Royal, Virginia, was arrested at a security checkpoint in Washington after attempted to present "unauthorized" credentials to law enforcement. A search of Beeler's car later revealed he was in possession of a Glock handgun and an extended magazine that included 500 rounds of ammunition.

Beeler's car was also reportedly adorned with decals that read "Assault Life" and "If they come for your guns, give 'em your bullets first."

Beeler was reportedly charged with five crimes, including possessing a weapon and ammunition in Washington without proper registration.

The arrest came amid heightened security in D.C. following the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol and ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration. Security officials fear more political violence could occur in D.C. in the days and weeks ahead.

However, in interviews with WRC-TV in Washington and the Washington Post, Beeler claimed his actions weren't motivated by politics, and that he had made an "honest mistake."

Beeler told WRC that he has been working as a security guard in D.C., but got lost on his way to work on Friday. According to local outlets, many roads surrounding the Capitol are shut down due to increased security.

When he ended up at the security checkpoint, he told WRC that he showed law enforcement the inauguration placard that had been given to him by his employer.

Law enforcement officials have not confirmed what credentials Beeler presented during the traffic stop and have only confirmed that his credentials were not issued by the government and were "unauthorized."

Beeler also told WRC that he forgot that his gun and the ammunition were in the car. While the gun wasn't registered in D.C., he claims he's licensed and registered to carry the gun in his home state of Virginia.

"I’m not a bad person. I'm not connected to any hate groups. I'm not there to harm anybody," Beeler told WRC.

According to WRC, Beeler was released from jail over the weekend and ordered to stay out of D.C. until his next court appearance in March.