Some of the 15,000 National Guard troops that are expected to be deployed in the District of Columbia to support local law enforcement on Inauguration Day will be carrying weapons, according to officials.
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, who is behind the decision, had recently told the media such a decision would be made based on intelligence regarding possible threats in the coming days.
The deployment of up to 15,000 National Guard members to DC to help support security was approved by Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller two days ago. Some 10,000 of the Guardsmen will arrive in the city by the weekend.
It is not clear at this point what portion of the deployed troops will be armed on January 20. However, it is likely that the troops in the vicinity of the Capitol building will carry weapons.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser wrote a letter over the weekend to Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), asking for interagency preparation for the inauguration to avoid possible chaos and fatalities.
Bowser said in the letter dated January 9 that her government is extremely concerned about the upcoming inauguration in light of “the unprecedented terrorist attack on the United States Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, and the continued threat of related violence.”
Bowser, together with the governors of Maryland and Virginia, issued a joint statement on Monday, January 11, urging Americans to stay away from DC for Biden’s inauguration and to attend the event virtually.
The home-rental company Airbnb also took action against possibly fatal incidents in DC on January 20 by banning people involved in the Capitol attack and those associated with hate groups from booking rooms on its platform for inauguration.