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DPS increasing security at Texas State Capitol ahead of planned armed protests

DPS shut down the Texas Capitol building on Jan. 6 – the day of the siege of the U.S. Capitol in D.C. – but reopened it the next day.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) confirmed to KVUE on Monday that it has increased its security measures at the Texas State Capitol building. 

DPS sent KVUE the following statement: 

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is continuously monitoring events and their impact on public safety. As a result, the department has deployed additional personnel and resources to the Texas State Capitol. While we do not discuss operational specifics, DPS will continue to adjust our operations as needed to maintain public order and address potential threats. The department remains committed to proactively protecting the people and property of Texas.

RELATED: FBI bulletin warns armed protests being planned at all 50 state capitals

Starting this week and running through at least Inauguration Day, armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitals at the U.S. Capitol, according to an internal FBI bulletin obtained by ABC News.

RELATED: National Guard sending at least 10,000 troops to DC ahead of Inauguration Day

“As of 10 January, armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the US Capitol from 17 January through 20 January,” the bulletin said. 

The San Antonio branch of the FBI responded to KVUE with this statement: 

"The FBI is supporting our state, local, and federal law enforcement partners with maintaining public safety in the communities we serve. Our efforts are focused on identifying, investigating, and disrupting individuals that are inciting violence and engaging in criminal activity. As we do in the normal course of business, we are gathering information to identify any potential threats and are sharing that information with our partners. The FBI respects the rights of individuals to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights. Our focus is not on peaceful protesters, but on those threatening their safety and the safety of other citizens with violence and destruction of property."

The National Park Service (NPS) has told KVUE sister station WUSA in Washington, D.C., that they are suspending tours of the Washington Monument through Jan. 24 after receiving "credible threats" following last week’s riots at the U.S. Capitol. 

According to NPS, the groups responsible for storming the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, are continuing to threaten the District and the setup prior to Inauguration Day on Wednesday, Jan. 20.

The head of the National Guard said at least 10,000 troops will be deployed in Washington, D.C., by Saturday, and an additional 5,000 could be requested from other states. There are currently 6,200 Guard members in the city from D.C. and five nearby states. 

RELATED: Texas Capitol grounds in Austin reopen after closing due to US Capitol riot

DPS shut down the Texas Capitol building on Jan. 6 – the day of the siege of the U.S. Capitol in D.C. – but reopened it the next day.

Texas DPS did not clarify whether or not the increased security was especially in response to the armed protests scheduled in the timeframe leading up to Inauguration Day. 

The agency did say that licensed-to-carry persons will be allowed on Capitol grounds and inside the Capitol as the law is currently written. Licensed people may carry their guns concealed or open carry in a holster and must carry their licenses on them. 

State senators Jose Mendez, Carol Alvarado and Sarah Eckhardt have sent a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dade Phelan, asking that weapons be banned inside the Capitol on the opening day of the session Tuesday.

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