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Missouri Capitol security tight for possible inauguration protests

The FBI warned all 50 state capitols of possible armed protests

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — There are no inauguration events in Missouri on Wednesday. Governor Mike Parson was sworn in at the Capitol last week.

But extra security is in place, should people choose to protest Joe Biden's inauguration as it happens in Washington, D.C.

Some of the stepped-up patrols are easy to see.

There are extra Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers and state park rangers at the Capitol. After the violent breach of Capitol security in Washington, the FBI warned all 50 state capitals of potential armed protests leading up to and on January 20.

A Missouri Department of Public Safety official told 5 On Your Side the agency is "reviewing response plans, staffing and intelligence information about potential protests and threats" with all of their public safety and security partners.

The building is open, and visitors will be allowed Wednesday.

RELATED: 'I'm sorry, I'm nervous' | Missouri woman seen inside Capitol during riot has initial court hearing

Republican state Senator Bob Onder from Lake Saint Louis said he expects all the attention on possible protests will actually keep them from happening based on discussions he's heard in "conservative groups."

"Saying, 'don't go out and protest because there might be bad guys trying to exploit the situation,'" Onder said.

Democratic state Senator Brian Williams from St. Louis said after a security briefing Tuesday he is confident if there are protests, Capitol Police and other agencies will be able to protect the building. But his concerns go beyond Wednesday.

"We live in a state where there are no laws that would prevent anyone from freely carrying a firearm," Williams said, referencing the state's so-called 'open carry' law that does not require a permit for a firearm. "Until we do background checks ... in the state of Missouri we're going to always be in harms' way.”

Security sources familiar with planning for Wednesday told 5 On Your Side officials are preparing for protests from both supporters of President Trump's and critics of Missouri's junior U.S. Senator Josh Hawley.

Some believe Hawley is partly to blame for the violence at the nation's Capitol after challenging Joe Biden's Electoral College win and appearing to support Capitol protesters before they turned violent.