Protesters call for the reopening of Colorado while restrictions put in place to stop the spread of the new coronavirus were eased in most of the state, Friday, May 1, 2020, in front of the State Capitol in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Protesters call for the reopening of Colorado while restrictions put in place to stop the spread of the new coronavirus were eased in most of the state, Friday, May 1, 2020, in front of the State Capitol in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

FBI and ATF Agents discovered four pipe bombs and potential pipe bomb components inside Bradley Bunn’s house.

A Colorado man who was organizing an armed protest against the state’s coronavirus restrictions was arrested on Friday after federal agents discovered pipe bombs in his home, ABC News reported

Bradley Bunn, 53, was arrested after FBI and ATF agents served search warrants morning at his Loveland, Colorado, home. Agents discovered four pipe bombs and potential pipe bomb components inside the house, according to a press release from the office of U.S. Attorney for Colorado Jason Dunn.

“Bomb technicians transported the destructive devices to a range where they were successfully rendered safe,” the release said.

It’s unclear whether Bunn intended to use the pipe bombs at the protest, but he first came to the attention of law enforcement after making social media posts encouraging fellow residents to bring assault rifles to a planned May 1 rally at the Colorado capitol building, ABC News reported. Investigators soon received information that he was in possession of pipe bombs and arrested him before he could attend Friday’s rally, which still took place with hundreds of protestors in attendance.

Bunn would not have been the first person to attend such a rally while armed. Protesters, some of whom were from militia and white supremacist groups, stormed the Michigan capitol last week carrying weapons, calling on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to end the state’s coronavirus-related restrictions. These rallies—which have drawn attention with their raucous, menacing gatherings and confrontations with police officers—have cropped up in in dozens of other states, including California, Ohio, and North Carolina.

They represent a minority view, as a recent AP-NORC poll found that only 12% of Americans think restrictions have gone too far. 

In part because of the protests and in part because of genuine economic suffering, many states are beginning to reopen, and governors who’ve thus far refused to bow to pressure are under increasing strain to ease restrictions, even as the CDC projects the daily death toll from coronavirus will continue to rise until it reaches 3,000 deaths per day by June 1.

In Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis is one of the few Democratic leaders who has pushed to reopen his state, where he has eased restrictions on business closures. Under his orders, offices are now able to reopen at 50% capacity, but must have strict social distancing guidelines still in place. Barbershops, salons, personal trainers and tattoo parlors can also reopen under similar guidelines and retailers can now allow in-person shopping.

Bunn has been charged with the possession of destructive devices. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Bunn is scheduled to have his initial appearance via video conference on Monday before a U.S. Magistrate Judge, according to the press release from Dunn’s office.