Officials stockpiled ammunition, sought heat ray devices, and reportedly proactively transferred ammunition to DC Guard, but was not used on the day.
Federal officials began to stockpile ammunition and seek devices that could emit deafening sounds and make anyone within range feel as if their skin was on fire, according to an Army National Guard major who was present Lafayette Square. In June., DC. National Guard Maj. Adam D. DeMarco told lawmakers that defense officials were searching for crowd-control technology deemed too unpredictable to use in war zones and had authorized the transfer of about 7,000 rounds of ammunition to the DC Armory. Federal officials looked into getting a heat ray that makes targets’ skin feel like it’s burning and amassed thousands of rounds of ammunition in preparation for clearing the protest.
In an August letter responding to follow-up questions, Maj. Adam DeMarco wrote that the Defense Department’s head military police officer for the National Capitol Region emailed him and others on the day of the protests asking if the DC National Guard had “a Long Range Acoustic Device,” which can blast walls of sound at protesters, or “the Active Denial Systems,” which feature “a directed energy beam that provides a sensation of intense heat on the surface of the skin.”
DeMarco wrote that he responded, saying that the DC National Guard had neither device and that to his knowledge, no such acoustic device was used at Lafayette Square. When he looked into getting the acoustic device the next day, the DC National Guard told him “that they were no longer seeking” it. The officials told Washington Post that federal police failed to acquire a heat ray device during the early days of demonstrations in the city.