D.C. Businessman Arrested For Possessing Ammunition In D.C. Even Though He Legally Owned Guns In Virginia

| by Will Hagle

D.C. financial adviser Mark Witaschek is currently facing a two-year prison sentence for possession of unregistered ammunition. Over 30 police officers outfitted in riot gear raided Witaschek’s home last year searching for weapons.

The officers had been directed to the home after the man’s wife had issued a restraining order against him for threatening her with a firearm. Law enforcement officials were let into the home by Witaschek’s 14-year-old daughter. 

Witaschek describes the scene that occurred afterwards as one of unjustifiable force against Witaschek and his family on behalf of the police squad. 

His 16-year-old son was also in the house, taking a shower at the time. “They used a battering ram to bash down the bathroom door and pull him out of the shower, naked. The police put all the children together in a room, while we were handcuffed upstairs. I could hear them crying, not knowing what was happening,” Witaschek said. 

After several searches, police found only ammunition within the house. There were no firearms. D.C. has strict laws regarding gun-ownership, as all weapons must be registered with the police, and only those that register their firearms can legally possess ammunition. The maximum penalty for possessing illegal ammunition is a $1,000 fine and a year in jail, according to the Washington Times. 

In a strange mix-up of varying gun-laws, Witaschek does legally own guns. However, he stores them at his sister’s house Arlington, VA, outside of D.C. jurisdiction.

Although Witaschek has no prior criminal record and appears to be a rational gun owner, his pleas of innocence are entirely incorrect. If he was knowledgeable enough about D.C.’s gun laws to store his firearms in Virginia, he was most likely aware that he could not legally possess ammunition within the district. 

The man turned down a penalty of a year of probation, a $500 fine and a contribution to a victim’s fund, according to the Times, opting instead to fight the case in court. “It’s the principle,” Witaschek said of the issue, despite clear evidence that he violated the law.