According to Washington, D.C., police, officials are growing concerned that some of President-elect Donald Trump’s supporters who attend next week’s inauguration will fight the cold by packing heat.
Police are particularly worried that supporters of Trump who belong to white supremacist groups will carry concealed weapons for protection from any racially motivated protests.
Since Donald Trump was elected, the country has witnessed what appears to be a rise in racially motivated crimes and discourse. During several Black Lives Matter protests, white supremacist groups showed up with openly carried weapons. Police fear the same could happen on January 20.
Washington does not allow open carry; however, at many Trump rallies, “open carry” activists were a reoccurring site.
A Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson told BuzzFeed News the department is “aware of various groups planning on exercising their First Amendment rights. Although we do not discuss operational strategy or tactics, MPD is prepared to both protect the rights of individuals to exercise their First Amendment rights and ensure public safety.”
“If individuals or groups decide to act unlawfully, plans have been put in place to efficiently address them,” the unnamed spokesperson added.
In addition to the hundreds of thousands of Trump supported in attendance, security is also expecting a large number of protesters to be present.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser told reporters that city officials are “prepared for any and all circumstances. We expected them to exercise their rights peacefully … and we’ll be prepared should anybody not.”
(Photo: Richard Ellis/Getty Images)