All 50 US states and the District of Columbia (DC) are on alert for possible violent protests this weekend, ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
National Guard troops from across the country are being sent to Washington DC, to discourage any repeat of the deadly riot that unfolded on 6 January.
The FBI has warned of possible armed marches by pro-Trump demonstrators at all 50 state capitols.
The National Mall in DC has been shut.
Barricades are lining the streets of the capital amid tightened security.
Police confirmed on Saturday that a Virginia man had been arrested a day earlier with two handguns and 509 rounds of unregistered ammunition, as he tried to pass through a Capitol Police checkpoint.
Responding on Twitter, Representative Don Beyer of Virginia said “the danger is real”, and urged people to avoid the Capitol area.
We are on edge, and the increased security presence and road/bridge closures are not what anyone wanted for this week, but the danger is real. Anyone who can avoid the area around the Capitol and Mall this week should do so. My thanks to all who are working to protect the public. https://t.co/QtoFLEYtzk
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) January 16, 2021
The Biden team had already asked Americans to avoid travelling to DC for the inauguration because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Local officials said people should watch the event remotely.