Ahead of Inauguration Day, Pentagon decides to arm National Guard troops in nation's capital

About 15,000 Guard troops are expected to be deployed around the capital

Published: January 13, 2021 9:17am

Updated: January 13, 2021 10:16am

National Guard troops, who have been pouring into Washington, D.C. this week, will be armed, according to the Department of Defense.

The troops, who have been tasked with securing the Capitol complex through Inauguration Day.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy made the decision that the troops stationed around the Capitol building will carry weapons. Up to 15,000 National Guard troops are arriving in Washington from around the country, it is unclear how many others will be armed.

McCarthy reportedly made his decision following a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who insisted that the Guard troops around the meeting place of Congress be armed following the events that transpired last week at the Capitol.

About 16 groups have registered to stage protests across the capital city next week as Inaugural Day activities commence. Defense officials across the government are preparing for a number of possible scenarios. DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has locked down a significant portion of the city, including large parts of downtown close to the White House and National Mall. 

Earlier this week, the White eHouse approved an emergency declaration across Washington, DC, putting city officials in a better position to acquire additional funding ahead of Inauguration Day. 

All of the National Guard troops currently arriving in Washington have brought their weapons with theem. 

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