DC police arrest man with loaded handgun and false inauguration accreditation at checkpoint

Police have arrested a man with a handgun and 500 rounds of ammunition at a checkpoint in Washington that was set up ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

He was carrying a false accreditation for the inauguration ceremony, AFP reported.

Wesley Allen Beeler was stopped at the checkpoint near the US Capitol on Friday.

An officer noticed he had “firearms-related stickers” on his vehicle and asked him if he had any weapons inside.

The papers say Beeler told the officers he had a handgun under the armrest and police detained him at the scene.

They searched his car and found a high-capacity magazine in the 9mm handgun, along with more than 500 rounds of ammunition in the vehicle.

Authorities said he didn’t have a license to carry the gun in Washington.

Beeler was charged with carrying a pistol without a license. His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It came after authorities dramatically increased security efforts surrounding the inauguration after the storming of the US Capitol by pro-Trump loyalists.

National Guard troops were pouring into the nation’s capital on Saturday, as governors answered the urgent pleas of US defence officials for more troops to help safeguard Washington.

Military leaders spent chunks of Thursday evening and Friday calling states in an unprecedented appeal for more National Guard troops to help lock down much of the city in the days before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

In dribs and drabs, governors responded, some agreeing to send an extra dozen, 100 or even 1,000, while others said no.

The calls reflect fears that violent extremist groups are targeting the city in the wake of the deadly Capitol insurrection.

The threats range from armed insurgents to possible attempts to plant explosive devices at so-called soft targets.

But as Washington begins to resemble an armed camp, with more than 25,000 Guard due in the city by early next week, concerns about violence in other state capitals has also grown.

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