Ronald William Prestage, president of Prestage Farms of South Carolina and president-elect of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), was arrested July 23 after allegedly trying to enter a federal building in Washington, D.C., with a handgun in his bag. Prestage was charged with carrying a handgun outside a home or office, which is a felony.

Concealed-carry permits are not issued in Washington, D.C., and open carry there is prohibited, according to

Officer Shennell S. Antrobus, a spokesman for the U.S. Capitol Police, told the Washington Post that the incident occurred about 9:20 a.m. at the Rotunda entrance. He said the pork and turkey company executive was searched as a matter of routine and an officer found the loaded 9-millimeter Ruger handgun in his bag. Prestage, who reportedly has a concealed-carry permit in South Carolina, was believed to have been on his way to a meeting inside the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C., when he was apprehended.


The entrance to the building was reportedly closed after Prestage tried to enter, but was reopened about an hour later.

Dave Warner, a spokesman for NPPC, told the Post that Prestage’s visit to the Cannon Building did not involve the pork organization. Prestage is scheduled to take over as president of NPPC in March 2015.

Prestage Farms has pork and turkey operations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Iowa, Oklahoma and Mississippi.