Pentagon authorizes National Guard to carry lethal weapons while protecting Capitol: reports

The National Guard members deployed in D.C. will be permitted to carry lethal weapons while they’re protecting the U.S. Capitol through Inauguration Day, according to reports.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about Inauguration Day in DC

In addition to lethal weapons, the National Guard will reportedly be equipped with traditional protective gear, like protective vests, gas masks and shields. reported on Wednesday that the Pentagon had authorized lethal force in the wake of a deadly riot in the Capitol that sent lawmakers and journalists scrambling to find secure locations.

Officials have not specified what kinds of weapons National Guard members will carry.

Download the FOX 5 DC News App for Local Breaking News and Weather

According to the National Guard, their official role will be to support law enforcement in their efforts to curb the violence that marred the Capitol last week.

The mayhem erupted after a rally featuring President Donald Trump, who maintains that the results of the 2020 Election were fraudulent.

READ MORE: Non-scalable fence erected around Capitol as more National Guard members arrive in DC

After the president encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol, where lawmakers had convened to certify the Electoral Vote count, they quickly overwhelmed law enforcement and stormed the building.

Five people died as a direct result of the incident – including a U.S. Capitol police officer. 

Videos and images of protesters beating and humiliating the beleaguered officers quickly went viral.

FBI and local law enforcement officers have arrested dozens of protesters – and they expect that number to swell exponentially.