OKLAHOMA CITY- With the violence at the US Capitol last week, there are questions about the state of security at our own Oklahoma Capitol.
Now, there are reports of possible armed protests later this week..
State lawmakers say they are already in talks with the Oklahoma State Department of Public Safety about what can be done to make sure the Oklahoma State Capitol stays safe.
“Each of us has constituents that are concerned, that are reaching out to us,” said State Rep. Andy Fugate.
The Democrat from Del City is talking about posts on social media over the weekend talking about armed protests scheduled not only for the US Capitol in Washington but also for each of the 50 state capitols.
“We would not expect anyone to come here and try to create civil unrest with one of these events but DPS has made it very clear and given us assurance that we’ll be ready to respond if someone does try,” said Speaker of the House Charles McCall.
The Republican says that leading lawmakers are already in talks with state police on beefing up security for the coming days and months.
NBC News is reporting that the FBI sent a memo to law enforcement agencies across the country, warning of possible armed protests at all 50 state capitols starting Jan. 16.
The memo also says an armed group has threatened to travel to Washington, D.C. the same day and stage an uprising if Congress removes President Donald Trump from office, according to a senior law enforcement official.
McCall confirmed that DPS has been in contact with federal officials on the subject.
“We fully expect things to remain civil here at the state and the Capitol is a place where people come to engage on policy,” said McCall.
Permits are not required for protests at the Oklahoma Capitol but reservations are taken for specific areas of the capitol grounds.
According to officials, no reservations have been made for Saturday or Sunday.
The building is open on Sunday. Visitors must pass through security to enter.
Although allowed outside, firearms are not allowed inside the Capitol building itself except by credentialed OHP officers.
Michigan has reportedly put in place a ban on open carry at their capitol.
The Speaker of the House doesn’t anticipate that happening in Oklahoma.
Other lawmakers support the people’s right to protest but not with guns.
“If you have to bring arms to a protest, you are there to intimidate people. You are not there to protest,” said Fugate.
The Oklahoma Second Amendment Association released the following statement about the protests:
“OK2A would like to address rumors about gun groups forming at state capitols across the country on January 17th. OK2A holds the position that the November 2020 election was stolen by multiple means. However, the OK2A Board of Directors agree that a gathering at the Oklahoma State Capitol on January 17th is nothing more than a ploy to escalate otherwise peaceful law-abiding citizens into a frenzy to damage state and private property. The Oklahoma Second Amendment Association recommends to its membership and others to not participate in this scheme to create more instability in an already volatile environment. We are asking citizens to be vigilant and call for calmness during this time.”