Was Jan. 6 an 'Armed Insurrection'?

It has become common in some circles to call the Jan. 6 Capitol riot an “armed insurrection.” That leads to a few questions: How many rioters were armed? And what weapons did they have? What were the arms in the “armed insurrection”?

The Justice Department maintains a website listing the defendants and the federal charges against them in the sprawling Capitol riot investigation. At this moment, about 670 people have been charged, many of them with misdemeanors like “Parading, Demonstrating or Picketing in a Capitol Building.”

Of the 670, I counted 82 who face weapons-related charges. That’s about 12% of the total. And of course, the number of people charged with anything, 670, is far smaller than the number who were on Capitol grounds that day.

The 82 face one or more of four possible charges: “Assaulting, Resisting, or Impeding Certain Officers Using a Dangerous Weapon”; “Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building with a Deadly or Dangerous Weapon”; “Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building with a Deadly or Dangerous Weapon”; and “Engaging in Physical Violence in a Restricted Building with a Deadly or Dangerous Weapon.”

For each charge, prosecutors have specified the weapon the defendant is accused of using.

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