National Security

Armed federal officer arrested at ‘J6’ rally won’t be charged, officials say

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images
Police stand guard as demonstrators gather for the “Justice for J6” rally in Washington, DC, on September 18, 2021, in support of the pro-Trump rioters who ransacked the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. – Washington was on high alert for the rally with security forces better prepared to avoid a repeat of the January…

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer will not be charged after being arrested for having a gun at Saturday’s “Justice for J6” rally, the Associated Press reported.

A spokesperson from the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington told the AP that prosecutors were “not moving forward with charges.” Additional details were not provided. 

The 27-year-old officer was not at the rally in any official capacity, two law enforcement sources told the AP. He was arrested when people in the crowd reported that he was in possession of a handgun on Capitol grounds.

Ahead of the rally, D.C. Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Chris Geldart warned attendees against arriving in the city armed. “So, this is reminding folks that come to the District what our laws are here and that, you know, you can’t carry a gun here,” he told a local NBC affiliate.

The event on Saturday was intended to show support for people charged over their involvement in the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

The AP noted the officer’s presence at the event was “surprising” after January’s insurrection left several police officers beaten and overrun by the rioters. 

Law enforcement in D.C. had taken extra steps to ensure safety at Saturday’s event including a return of the fence that surrounded the Capitol and having the National Guard on standby.

While federal law generally permits law enforcement officers to carry their guns in other states, regardless of their gun laws, that’s not the case on federal property where it’s illegal to carry a gun, including the U.S. Capitol.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer was one of just four people who were arrested at the event, the AP said. 

 

Tags federal gun laws Justice for J6 U.S. Customs and Border Protection U.S. Customs and Border Protection
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