Donald Trump says Capitol rioters had ‘no guns whatsoever’

The claim: “There were no guns whatsoever” in the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 — former President Donald Trump

In a Fox News interview, Trump went on to describe the events of Jan. 6 by saying that “people with no guns walked down” to the Capitol, that the building’s doors were open, and that there was a “lovefest” between the Capitol police and the insurrectionists.

PolitiFact rating: False. Court records and news reports show that many insurrectionists were armed, and several were charged with having firearms on Capitol grounds or stashed nearby while in Washington, D.C. In addition, rioters had weapons other than firearms and used them during the attack.


Court documents, video evidence and news coverage directly contradict Trump’s characterization of the riot.

Many of those involved in the attack were armed, and several had guns that police later seized.

The event was far from a lovefest: Five people died, including a Capitol Police officer, and more than 140 officers were injured in the day’s events. Video evidence shows both police officers and rioters being injured in the brawls. Rioters called for hanging then-Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Damage to the Capitol is estimated at $1.5 million and included ransacked offices, broken windows and doors, broken and stolen photography equipment, ruined statues, murals and furniture.

A review of the case files of approximately 430 defendants who were arrested and charged in connection with their actions at the Capitol shows that several of the defendants were found by police to have taken firearms with them into the Capitol. Some were charged with having firearms on Capitol grounds, while others stashed them away while in Washington.

They included:

Lonnie Coffman of Alabama: Police found multiple firearms and weapons in Coffman’s possession. Coffman’s pickup, which he had parked in the vicinity of the Capitol on the morning of Jan. 6, was packed with weaponry including a handgun, a rifle and a shotgun, each loaded, according to court documents. In addition, the truck held hundreds of rounds of ammunition, several large-capacity ammunition feeding devices, a crossbow with bolts, machetes, camouflage smoke devices, a stun gun and 11 Molotov cocktails.

Court records and video surveillance footage show that Coffman, who had ties to militia groups, parked the vehicle near the Capitol at 9:15 a.m. that day. The documents say that after he got out of his pickup at 9:20 a.m., he joined a crowd of people who walked directly to the Capitol building.

He was detained later that evening as an unnamed woman was driving him back toward his truck. Police questioned Coffman and searched him, finding two more handguns on his person. None of the weapons was registered, documents state.

Guy Reffitt of Texas: Reffitt was charged with bringing a handgun onto Capitol grounds. Court documents showed that Reffitt, reported in court documents to be a member of the militia group Three Percenters, told his family he brought his gun with him and that he and others “stormed the Capitol.”

Christopher Michael Alberts of Maryland: Alberts brought his handgun onto Capitol grounds, according to a police report. An officer saw that Alberts had a gun on his hip and alerted fellow officers. When Alberts tried to flee, officers detained him and recovered the loaded handgun along with a separate magazine.

The total number of people who carried firearms with them that day may not ever be fully accounted for because the majority of those involved in the siege were not arrested on-site but were tracked down by law enforcement days, weeks and months later.

It’s also worth noting that the definition of “armed” is not legally limited to guns — it refers to any weapon used for defense or offense and used as a means of protection. Other items used as weapons Jan. 6 included bats, crutches, flagpoles, skateboards, fire extinguishers and chemical sprays.

Politifact reached out to Trump’s team to ask for evidence behind his statements but did not hear back.

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