A Sevierville man visiting Washington, D.C. and looking for the White House now faces felony gun possession charges.
59-year-old Steve Randall Oney, of Sevierville, was arrested near the U.S. Capitol in the yearly morning hours Tuesday after asking police where the White House was located and admitting to having firearms in his vehicle.
According to an affidavit by U.S. Capitol Police Officer Kenneth Colson, Oney was driving a Ford pickup when he approached the officer on Independence Avenue SW at about 2:30 a.m. on July 28, 2015. He exited the pickup and asked Colson, “Where’s the White House?”
Oney stated he was ‘visiting the area for the night and wanted to see the White House’ and that he was ‘moving and had everything he owned’ in the truck.
The officer noticed a propane tank and an ammunition box in the back of the truck. When the officer asked Oney if he had any weapons or ammunition in the vehicle, Oney admitted he did but that the guns were not loaded.
Oney gave police consent to search his truck, where they found a handgun and two rifles in the front cab of the truck and within reach of the driver. Oney was arrested for carrying a pistol without a license, unregistered firearm and unregistered ammunition.
U.S. Capitol Police found Oney in possession of the following:
- 1 – F.LLI Pietta black powder .44 caliber revolver (empty) with holster
- 1 – Marlin .22 caliber long range rifle with scope containing two rounds
- 1 – Savage model 110 7mm Remington with case
- 1 – USA saber knife with 11.75″ blade
- 1 – Gold ammunition box containing 56 7mm rounds and 249 38 special rounds (Remington Winchester Megtech)
- 2 – 1 lb. containers of Triple Seven muzzle loading propellant
- 2 – 100 boxes of .44 caliber ball ammo
- 1 – tube bore butter
- 3 – containers (100) percussion cap
Court documents show Oney was charged with carrying a pistol without a license. He had a preliminary hearing on July 29 and was released without bond, but ordered not to possess any firearms or weapons and to stay away from the U.S. Capitol building and grounds. He was not told to stay away from the White House or other landmarks.
Washington D.C. gun laws are known to be some of the toughest in the country, requiring registration of rifles, shotguns, revolvers and handguns. In addition, a person may only possess ammunition if they have a valid registration certificate for a firearm, or are a licensed dealer or certified collector. The District’s firearm transportation laws are in line with federal laws, allowing a person to transport a firearm from one place where they lawfully possess the firearm to any other place where they may lawfully possess the firearm. However, the firearm must be unloaded and neither the firearm nor any ammunition may be readily accessible from the passenger compartment of the vehicle. In a vehicle that does not have a compartment separate from the passenger compartment, the firearm and ammunition must be in a locked container.
Gun laws change, so it is a good idea to periodically check federal gun laws as well as state gun laws where you live, where you intend to live, or before you travel. The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence maintains a searchable database of gun laws.
All persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.