The January 6 insurrection wasn’t explicitly billed as a Second Amendment event. But the specter of guns was everywhere: on the flags flown by rioters, in the insurrectionist theory they espoused, and the tactical gear they donned. And in some cases, despite Washington, D.C.’s unusually strict gun laws, which require firearms to be registered with local police, the Trump supporters who gathered at the U.S. Capitol were armed.
As of now, at least nine people have been hit with illegal gun possession charges stemming from the riot, according to an analysis of arrest records and court documents. Two of them were detained after police noticed a bulge under their clothing. Three people were arrested the night before the riot. Another person, Proud Boys’ leader Enrique Tarrio, was found in possession of two large-capacity magazines when police arrested him for another crime on January 4. Because Tarrio planned on going to the rally, we included him in our tally.
But these are only the people who were caught with guns that day. We’ll never know how many people brought weapons with them to President Trump’s speech, and onward to the Capitol. Perhaps cognizant of the penalty for carrying a gun without a license in the District — up to five years in prison — only a few felt comfortable enough to display them. One rioter flashed his handgun at a group of journalists, a moment captured by a Vice reporter.
More gun charges may be coming. We’ll be tracking them here.
Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, 36, of Florida, was arrested at a Washington, D.C., hotel on January 4 for burning a Black Lives Matter flag he stole from a black church last month. Metropolitan Police Department officers serving the warrant found him in possession of two AR-15/M4-compatible 30-round magazines branded with the Proud Boys insignia.
Harlen Boen, 48, of Colorado was arrested near Freedom Plaza on January 5 by a Metropolitan Police Department officer who noticed a bulge on his hip. He was found to be in possession of a Glock 23 handgun and a large-capacity magazine holding 13 rounds, which is three rounds over the legal limit in D.C.
Thomas Gronek, 46, of North Carolina was arrested half a mile from the Capitol on January 5 by Metropolitan Police Department officers who stopped his bus. Upon a search, they found a Springfield XD-S 9mm handgun, a pink .22-caliber Ruger rifle, a 110-round drum magazine, four .9mm magazines, and 275 rounds of ammunition.
Leslie Grimes, 25, of Michigan, was arrested a few blocks from the White House on January 6 by Metropolitan Police Department officers and charged with carrying a pistol without a license, possession of a large-capacity magazine, and possession of unregistered ammunition. Prosecutors later dropped the charges.
Christopher Michael Alberts, 33, of Maryland, was arrested outside the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center an hour and a half after curfew on the evening of January 6. A Metropolitan Police Department officer noticed a bulge in his pants and discovered a 9mm Taurus handgun that held 12 rounds — two more than the legal limit — and another magazine holding 12 rounds.
Lonnie Leroy Coffman, 70, of Alabama, was arrested on the evening of January 6 by a Capitol Police officer who came upon his truck and found an assault-style rifle, a shotgun, three handguns, a large-capacity magazine, and components for 11 molotov cocktails. Police also found a handwritten note with the name of a Muslim House representative on it.
Julian Snell, 40, of Virginia, was arrested a few blocks from the White House on January 6 by a Metropolitan Police Department officer and charged with carrying a pistol without a license and possession of a large-capacity magazine.
Timothy Wolfe, 32, of Virginia was arrested a few blocks from the White House on January 6 by a Metropolitan Police Department officer and charged with carrying a pistol without a license, possession of a large-capacity magazine, and possession of unregistered ammunition.
Cleveland Grover Meredith, Jr. of Colorado was arrested on January 7 by FBI agents who came to his Washington, D.C., hotel room to investigate a text he’d sent about shooting Nancy Pelosi. He agreed to let the agents search his trailer parked outside and they found a Glock 19, a Tavor X95 assault rifle, and more than 2,500 rounds of ammunition.
Samuel Fisher, 35, of New York was arrested in Manhattan on January 20 and charged with disorderly conduct on restricted grounds and unlawful entry. Based on social media posts and messages, FBI agents allege that Fisher was at the Capitol on January 6, and “in possession of multiple firearms” while in D.C. At his arraignment, prosecutors said he was found with a shotgun, a semiautomatic rifle, a handgun, and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition upon his arrest and said more charges could be coming soon. The guns were cited by the judge in his decision to deny Fisher bail.
Additional reporting by Alain Stephens.