A Pennsylvania doctor staying at a Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. was arrested Wednesday after police found an AR-15 assault rifle, a .40-caliber handgun and 90 rounds of ammunition in his car.
Bryan Moles (43) is an emergency room doctor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. However, prior to the incident, the hospital placed Moles on administrative leave. The medical center has declined to comment on the situation, citing the ongoing police investigation.
Upon arriving at the Trump International Hotel, Moles told the staff he had weapons in his vehicle – a violation of district law. The Secret Service along with local law enforcement officers found the weapons in the car and arrested Moles for possession.
At a press conference yesterday, Peter Newsham, the Metropolitan Police Department Chief of Police, said authorities “averted a potential disaster here in our nation’s capital.” Although the Secret Service had an interview with Moles and said he poses “no immediate threat” to anyone under the agency’s protection.
Authorities say it is still unclear as to why Moles made the trip to the nation’s capital. According to the Washington Post, a longtime friend of Moles said he is a “hard-core” supporter of Donald Trump and might have been unaware of the District’s strict gun laws.
“I know he had a permit for Pennsylvania. He probably didn’t realize it wasn’t reciprocated in Washington.”
But according to police, a tipster provided information that Moles had made threatening remarks. However, as of right now, Newsham said authorities “don’t have enough information right now to charge him with making threats.”
Lisa Della Ratta, a longtime friend of Moles, said she believes the whole situation must be a big misunderstanding and that Moles was never a potential threat.
“He is mentally stable in every way, shape or form,” Della Ratta said. “There is nothing in Bryan’s history or pattern of behavior that would make me think he was a threat at all.”
The District of Columbia’s gun laws are among the most strict in the country. All firearms must be registered with the police, by the terms of the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975. Firearm owners are also required to obtain a gun license for any shotgun, rifle, or handgun.
According to § 22–4504, No person shall carry within the District of Columbia either openly or concealed on or about their person, a pistol, without a license issued pursuant to District of Columbia law, or any deadly or dangerous weapon.
Any person who violates this section is subject to up to five years in prison as well as additional fines. Since Moles had multiple weapons as well as ammunition he could potentially face additional time.
If it is truth comes to light and this is all just a big misunderstanding, I’m sure Moles will still face some sort of punishment, maybe just not as harsh.