Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has called out the National Guard for the pro-Trump Stop the Steal rallies scheduled to take place in the nation’s capital Tuesday and Wednesday. D.C.’s acting Chief of Police Robert J. Contee III warned protesters that the city’s strict gun laws will be enforced as it is against the law in D.C. to exercise one’s Second Amendment rights while exercising one’s First Amendment rights. Contee ordered posters put up in the protest areas reminding visitors of the city’s carry prohibitions.
President Trump called out the National Guard in D.C. for the George Floyd riots, May 30, 2020, screen image via Remmy Bahati/Twitter.
Bowser is also urging Washingtonians and people in surrounding areas to stay away from D.C. during the rallies. Rumors have been spreading that Bowser is shutting down hotels and pther businesses for the rallies but that is not true. The Hotel Harrington decided to close for the rallies after getting pressure for allowing the Proud Boys to congregate there. Indoor dining in D.C. is closed due to COVID lockdowns. Street parking will be greatly restricted in the protest areas.
Bowser’s instructions for the National Guard state they are to be unarmed and not engage in “domestic surveillance, searches or seizures of US persons.” The Guard is reportedly being called out to help with traffic and crowd management in support of law enforcement.
D.C. government documents via Mark Segraves/Twitter.
D.C. government document via Jane Recker/Twitter.
Bowser: “I am asking Washingtonians and those who live in the region to stay out of the downtown area on Tuesday and Wednesday and not to engage with demonstrators who come to our city seeking confrontation, and we will do what we must to ensure all who attend remain peaceful.”
I am asking Washingtonians and those who live in the region to stay out of the downtown area on Tuesday and Wednesday and not to engage with demonstrators who come to our city seeking confrontation, and we will do what we must to ensure all who attend remain peaceful.
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) January 3, 2021
The long list of road closures and parking restrictions for the rallies can be found at this D.C. government statement on the protests that also includes this warning on firearms:
Members of the public and anyone attending the events are reminded that District law prohibits anyone from carrying a firearm within 1,000 feet of any First Amendment activity. Under federal law, it is illegal to possess firearms on the US Capitol grounds and on National Park Service areas, such as Freedom Plaza, the Ellipse, and the National Mall. Additionally, members of the public are reminded that the District of Columbia does not have reciprocity with other states’ concealed pistol licenses; unless a person has been issued a concealed pistol license by the District of Columbia, they cannot conceal carry a firearm in the city. Finally, it is illegal to open carry firearms in the District.
Residents and commuters are encouraged to register for important alerts from the District by signing up for AlertDC at alertdc.dc.gov.
Black Lives Matter DC is demanding the mayor and city do more, “Someone need to tell @MayorBowser & Acting Chief Contee that white supremacists don’t care about signs that say guns are not allowed. Stationing police officers in front of churches didn’t stop them from burning signs last time. Here are our demands to send a clear message:”
Someone need to tell @MayorBowser & Acting Chief Contee that white supremacists don't care about signs that say guns are not allowed. Stationing police officers in front of churches didn't stop them from burning signs last time.
Here are our demands to send a clear message: pic.twitter.com/GRhJtYGnwK
— Black Lives Matter DC (@DMVBlackLives) January 4, 2021