Here's What You Can & Can't Bring To Inauguration


The inauguration of Donald Trump is now just days away, and whether you're a Trump supporter who's hoping to attend or a Trump opponent who nonetheless wants to bear witness to history, it's time to start finalizing your plans. But there are some important guidelines and restrictions as to what precisely you can take to the big event, and you should refresh yourself now, rather than get burned later. So, what can you bring to the inauguration?

The easiest way to answer that question is probably to clarify what you're not allowed to bring, because it's a considerable list that includes some everyday items you might not necessarily have expected. Needless to say, security is paramount at an event like this, which is why there's a big list of items that are prohibited if you're going to be within the inauguration area on Friday, Jan. 20.

Here's the full list, as presented on the inauguration's official website. It'll be the 58th presidential inauguration in American history. Suffice to say, you won't be surprised by a lot of items on the list ― it's a high-profile enough event that you can bet security will be a major consideration.

Alyssa Foote/Bustle

Some of the banned items are less obvious, however:

  • aerosols
  • ammunition
  • animals other than service/guide animals
  • backpacks and bags exceeding size restrictions (18" by 13" by 7")
  • bicycles
  • balloons
  • coolers
  • drones and other unmanned aircraft systems
  • explosives
  • firearms
  • glass, thermal, or metal containers
  • laser pointers
  • mace/pepper spray
  • packages
  • selfie sticks
  • signs exceeding the size restrictions (20" x 3" x 1/4")
  • structures
  • supports for signs and placards
  • toy guns
  • weapons of any kind
  • any other items determined to be potential safety hazards

Non-service animals are banned, as are guns, ammo, toy or replica guns, and "weapons of any kind" ― suffice to say a presidential inauguration isn't the place to be practicing your knife-throwing routine.

Pepper spray, often carried for personal defense purposes, is not allowed, as well as conventional aerosol sprays. Selfie sticks are also a no-no, so you'll have to stretch your arm out to get photographic proof you were there. Similarly, you're out of luck if you're hoping for a sweeping aerial photo of the festivities ― drones are prohibited at the inauguration, and indeed, aren't allowed within Washington, D.C.'s central airspace. According to FAA rules, drones are strictly disallowed within a 15-mile radius of Ronald Reagan International Airport, and there are still restrictions on their use out to a 30-mile radius. In other words, leave them at home, because running afoul of inauguration security (as well as the FAA) is not something you need.