Man arrested in Washington DC with handgun and ammo as US nervously approaches Biden inauguration
A man has been arrested in Washington DC with a loaded handgun and more than 500 rounds of ammunition just days before Joe Biden’s inauguration.
The man, identified as Wesley Allen Beeler from Virginia, had been driving a pickup truck with several firearm-related bumper stickers, according to police.
One read: “If they come for your guns, Give ‘Em your bullets first”.
The 31-year-old was initially stopped on Friday evening at a checkpoint in the city where he tried to use an “unauthorised inauguration credential”.
The gun and ammunition were found in his vehicle.
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Police said he would appear in court during the weekend on charges of carrying a pistol without a license, possession of an unregistered firearm and possession of unregistered ammunition.
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Don Beyer, a Democratic congressman from Virginia, said the city was on edge ahead of Mr Biden’s inauguration on 20 January.
He added: “Anyone who can avoid the area around the Capitol and Mall this week should do so.”
Thousands of National Guard troops have been deployed, many central roads have been closed, and barriers were being erected in the city on Saturday, amid scattered demonstrations.
The FBI has warned of possible armed demonstrations outside all 50 state capitol buildings and there are fears of more riots like those seen on 6 January when Donald Trump supporters and extremists stormed the US Capitol.
Some of the rioters planned to kidnap US politicians and some even called for the death of Vice President Mike Pence as he presided over the certification of Mr Biden’s victory in last year’s election.
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Those most at risk of violence are thought to be the election battleground states, including Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Arizona, but others have also closed buildings and increased security.
Even churches are on alert – the 4,900 Protestant churches that come under the United Church Of Christ umbrella has warned its 800,000 members of reports that “liberal” churches could be attacked.