Dec. 30 (UPI) — New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu on Wednesday canceled the state’s inaugural ceremony citing considerations over armed anti-mask protests.

In a press release, Sununu, a Republican, stated he and the chief council can be sworn in Jan. 7 throughout a small ceremony attended by leaders of each homes of the legislature and attended by different members nearly, as an alternative of holding an out of doors ceremony.

“My first accountability is making certain the protection of my household and our residents,” he stated. “For weeks, armed protesters have more and more turn into extra aggressive, focusing on my household, protesting exterior my non-public residence and trespassing on my property — an out of doors public ceremony merely brings an excessive amount of danger. We don’t make this choice frivolously however it’s the proper factor to do.”

Protesters have gathered exterior of Sununu’s dwelling for weeks opposing a masks mandate requiring all folks above the age of 5 to put on face protecting when they’re unable to stay 6 ft away from folks from exterior their households by means of Jan. 15.

On Monday, one particular person was arrested and 9 folks had been fined $100 after a protest exterior the governor’s dwelling.

Brennan Christen, one of many organizers of the protests, accused Sununu of deceptive the general public, saying not one of the protesters had ever “open-carried” a firearm exterior of the governor’s dwelling.

Christen additionally urged that Sununu canceled the inauguration after teams opposing the masks mandate had acquired commitments from about 1,000 folks to protest the inauguration.

New Hampshire Democratic Social gathering Chairman Raymond Buckley condemned the protesters, lamenting that that they had compelled the cancelation of the ceremony.

“Whereas I perceive the very actual concern, it’s a actually unhappy state of affairs when our elected officers have to even take into consideration such a call because of a small group of actually unhinged gun-toting residents,” he stated. “Affordable folks throughout the state have to stand up in opposition to these bullies and say ‘sufficient.'”