Stay away from state Capitol area beginning Sunday, says Wisconsin attorney general

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MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Wisconsin's attorney general is asking people to stay clear of the state Capitol area beginning on Sunday. His comments come as the FBI warns about potential armed protests at state Capitol buildings starting later this week.

"I would also encourage people to stay away from the Capitol area between the period from Jan. 17 through Jan. 20," Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul told CBS 58 in an interview.

Kaul is asking anyone who hears about threats to contact police immediately.

The windows are boarded up at the Capitol. Kaul said he believes that's the appropriate response, but he finds it "disturbing" that it's necessary. He hopes those who protest do so peacefully.

"Now we have capitol buildings all across the country that are having to take security precautions because of the actions of the president of the United States," Kaul said.

When CBS 58 asked Kaul whether he'd like to see discussions about changing the rules related to bringing firearms into the building, Kaul said, "I think there should be an evaluation of how we can make sure we're keeping our Capitol safe."

He said he believes lessons can be learned from what happened in Washington DC.

"It's also critical though that we are monitoring these kind of extremist groups and their activities so that we can be prepared," Kaul said.

On Tuesday, Senate Democrats introduced a resolution that would recognize President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of Wisconsin's electoral votes, reject President Donald Trump's claims of a "stolen election" and condemn the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

"More than ever, right now would be our opportunity to pull together and denounce what has been happening in this country and in this state," said Sen. Jeff Smith (D-Eau Claire).

Republican leaders blocked the Democrats' resolution.

"It isn't properly before us at this time," said Sen. Roger Roth (R-Appleton). "But Capitol security is important to me as I can see it's important to you."

Roth said he is working on a bill related to Capitol security.

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