Washington, D.C. is not a place favorable to gun folks. Sure, it was a shall-issue jurisdiction well before Bruen came down, but that’s only because they lost in court and didn’t want to risk such laws being overturned nationally.
Which happened anyway.
Despite their anti-gun efforts, though, plenty of firearms get into the district.
Yet one recovered on Tuesday probably made a lot of people nervous. It’s not so much what it was, which was bad enough, but where it was found.
A man with a gun has been arrested in a park near the U.S. Capitol, according to Capitol Police.
“USCP Officers just arrested a man with a gun in the park across from Union Station. At this time we have no reason to believe there is an ongoing threat. We are working to gather more information and will put out more details when they are confirmed,” police said in a statement.
Ahmir Lavon Merrell, 21, from Atlanta, was taken into custody, according to Capitol Police.
Police said they were alerted Tuesday to a man with a semi-automatic weapon and responded to the park and found Merrell. Police asked him to stop, but he did not and was Tasered by a Capitol Police officer. He was later taken to a hospital for treatment after being stunned.
Merrell is a convicted sex offender, which means he has a felony conviction and couldn’t lawfully buy firearms. There is also some concern by Capitol Police that he has some mental health issues, though they do not know that Merrell had any plan to injure or kill anyone, but the gun was on Capitol grounds, which they found concerning in and of itself.
I’m pretty sure that if anywhere was going to be a sensitive area as described in Bruen, the Capitol would be it, so I’m unsurprised at their concern.
Unlike most reports of this type, though, we apparently do have some information about the weapon in question.
This is the rifle that Capitol Police say they seized from Ahmir Merrell, 21, today near Capitol
Police: “Officers spotted the man carrying a rifle in one hand, so they demanded that he drop the gun. When the man refused, an assisting USCP officer tased the suspect….” pic.twitter.com/QDAY6ikjau
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) November 7, 2023
Now that is a well-loved, well cared for gun, now isn’t it?
Yes, that was sarcasm.
Regardless, the fact that this happened not too far away from where a demonstrators were calling on the Supreme Court to uphold the ban on guns for people with restraining orders against them is what I personally find more than a little concerning.
No, it’s unlikely Merrell was really a gun rights advocate or anything, but you had a lot of people gathered in one place, relatively unprotected. If he had a plan to hurt people, that wasn’t too far away.
Of course, since he was across the street from Union Station, that’s concerning too.
Undoubtedly, someone will point to this and say we need more gun control, but I’d point out that plenty of gun control failed for things to get to this point, so why would anyone believe just one or two more laws would suddenly do what 10,000 others have failed at?
Either way, this ended without further incident, which is good.
Then again, based on the way that pistol appears, what with the lack of a pistol grip or anything else there, I’d be shocked if the thing even fires.