WASHINGTON — On Jan. 6, 2021, Jon Mott was one of the scores of pro-Trump rioters who broke into the U.S. Capitol’s Rotunda, according to prosecutors. Four months later, he was arrested after federal investigators say they received tips and social media posts pointing to his involvement in the insurrection.

Since then, the 39-year-old Arkansas man has pleaded not guilty and been released to await trial. Under the conditions of his release, Mott was barred from possessing any weapons, court records show.

Last week, though, Mott’s lawyers asked a federal judge to grant him a special request: permission to go hunting.

“For the majority of his life, [Mott] has participated in the Conservation efforts of wildlife management by engaging in the practice of subsistence hunting,” Mott’s attorney, Joseph W. Allen, wrote in a motion Friday.

Allen, who didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post, wrote that allowing Mott to hunt would save him $5,000 in grocery bills — a welcomed cut, considering food prices have increased 11.4% over the past year. According to Allen’s motion, Mott — who has never had any firearms-related charges — legally owns “several firearms that he has used priorly for the purposes of subsistence hunting.”

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth agreed to the request — with a caveat. While Mott will now be allowed to use firearms for hunting, he can’t store any weapons or ammunition inside his home or workplace, Lamberth’s order states.


Assault on the U.S. Capitol

Court records detail the case prosecutors have so far built against Mott, who is charged with entering a restricted building, disorderly conduct in a restricted building and two counts of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Just one day after supporters of President Donald Trump breached the Capitol, where Congress was certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory, an unnamed tipster sent the FBI screenshots linking Mott and an associate to the siege, according to a criminal complaint. In one, Mott’s unnamed associate allegedly posted on Facebook: “I’m ok. We did it. [Mott] and I got separated for about 20 minutes but I’ve made contact with him. He’s better than ok. I’m now trying to get us the hell out of here. Good work patriots.”

Two days later, another tip came, showing a Facebook Live video of Mott’s friend saying the two had been at the Capitol, according to court records. Then, on Jan. 15, 2021, an additional witness showed agents photos and videos Mott’s associate had sent of the two pushing their way inside the building, the complaint states.

According to the evidence federal agents analyzed, Mott and his friend flew together to Washington, D.C., a day before the riot, court records add. They had attempted to raise cash for their trip through a GoFundMe page aimed at “protesting corruption in DC on Jan 6th,” according to the complaint, though it’s unclear whether the money was used to fund their travels.

Once in the city, Mott was allegedly part of the large group that forced its way into the Rotunda, the domed room at the heart of the Capitol. Police body-camera footage showed him pushing against an officer’s baton while yelling, “Don’t touch me. If you don’t touch me, I won’t touch you,” the complaint states.


In another video authorities obtained from New York-based news agency Freedom News, prosecutors say a swollen-eyed Mott is seen pouring water into another protester’s face — something the complaint alleges is “indicative of recovery from tear gas or similar chemical irritant, which was deployed by law enforcement on January 6, 2021, in an effort to subdue rioters seeking entry into the Capitol.”

After gathering that information, federal agents surveilled Mott at his home and workplace in Arkansas, noting the same distinctive ring-finger tattoo that he flashed in the recordings, according to the complaint. The last step was to compare the evidence the authorities had compiled with Mott’s license plate registration.

It was a match, prosecutors allege, and Mott was arrested in May 2021 in Arkansas.

Altogether, officials have said that more than 2,000 people could face charges related to entering the Capitol or attacking officers on Jan. 6. So far, more than 900 people have been charged, and nearly 400 have pleaded guilty.

Mott is not the first Jan. 6 defendant to ask a judge for permission to access guns. In April, a judge in Texas restored a sentenced rioter’s right to possess firearms, citing the woman’s credible “fears for her safety.”

A month later, a defendant from Georgia asked a judge whether he could have two of his confiscated guns back — the reason, according to court records: to kill venomous snakes on his property.