Write-in candidate for president accused of bringing guns onto grounds of U.S. Capitol

By Scott McCabe

A North Carolina man who ran for president as a write-in candidate has been indicted on charges of possessing several guns on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.

Rodney Dale Class

Rodney Class

According to charging documents, on the afternoon of May 31, a plain clothes officer noticed a black Jeep parked illegally in front of the U.S. Botanical Gardens in the 200 block of Maryland Avenue SW. The vehicle was unoccupied.

Inside the Jeep, the officer spotted numerous weapons: a sword in the overhead roll bar; a knife in the right of the driver’s seat, several holsters in the driver’s side door and two batons in the back of the vehicle.

A K-9 unit was called to sweep the vehicle for explosives, which found negative results, police said.

About an hour later, the owner of the vehicle, Rodney D. Class, 59,  showed up. He said he had three guns inside the vehicle. He was placed under arrest for allegedly violating D.C. gun laws and the Jeep was impounded until police could obtain a search warrant.

Inside the Jeep, police found a Taurus .44 caliber pistol, a Ruger LC9 9-mm pistol and a Henry Arms .44 caliber rifle. The weapons were loaded, documents said. The Ruger was in a bag near the driver’s seat.

Class, of High Shoals, N.C., told investigators that the weapons were his, and he believed he had a right to personally arm himself.

According to appearances on various online videos, Class ran as a write-in candidate for president in 2012.

Class was indicted this week by a federal grand jury on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm on capitol grounds and carrying a pistol outside home or place of business. He has been released on his on recognizance.