Guards stationed in the Capitol will also wear Kevlar protective helmets, gas masks and bulletproof vests, she said.
She stressed that the members of the guard were trained to “try everything to de-escalate the situation before having to withdraw their weapons and use them” as part of the response to civil disturbances.
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy approved a request by federal and local authorities for armed guards to support law enforcement defending the Capitol earlier Tuesday, Johnson said.
Defense officials and civilian officials are considering arming up to 1
Before storming the Capitol on Wednesday by a pro-Trump mob, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser deliberately tried to limit the military’s role in the city’s response to planned protests. She demanded that the guards stationed on the scene be unarmed.
But that calculation has changed in recent days as law enforcement officials have received credible threats from armed militias planning to move through the Capitol in the days leading up to Jan. 20’s inauguration, especially if the House votes to impeach Trump for a second time Wednesday.
“We want our people to have the right to self-defense,” General Daniel Hokanson, head of the National Guard Bureau, told reporters Monday before the ruling. “If senior management determines that this is the right position to be in, then we will do so.”