On 11 January 2021, media reports citing an internal FBI memo stated that armed protests are being planned in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., during 17-20 January to coincide with the 59th Presidential Inauguration, which is currently set to take place on the western front of the Capitol on 20 January. The memo reportedly notes that members of an identified armed group intend to travel to Washington, D.C., on 16 January and have warned of an uprising should President Donald Trump be removed from office before Inauguration Day. Additionally, such protests are being planned at all 50 U.S. state capitols during 16-20 January, and a group has threatened to storm courthouses and government buildings in every state on Inauguration Day. The cited plans to stage armed protests follow the 6 January clashes between Trump supporters and police officers inside the U.S. Capitol building, which resulted in the deaths of five people including a Capitol Police officer.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Defense has authorized up to 15,000 National Guard personnel to ensure security in the lead-up to and during the upcoming inauguration ceremony in Washington, D.C. At least 10,000 of those troops will be deployed to the capital by 16 January, according to the chief of the National Guard Bureau. On 11 January President Trump approved an emergency declaration for the capital, which is set to last until 24 January, and the Department of Homeland Security has ordered the U.S. Secret Service to begin National Special Security Event operations for the inauguration as of 13 January. Elsewhere in the country, the governor of the state of Wisconsin has authorized National Guard personnel to protect the state capitol in downtown Madison, while the Michigan State Capitol Commission has banned the open carry of firearms in the Capitol building in Lansing.