Michigan Commission Ban Open Carry of Firearms Inside State Capitol
Courtesy: The Irish Times
LANSING, MI - The Michigan State Capitol Commission held an afternoon meeting at 1pm to take a vote on prohibiting open carry of all firearms inside the State Capitol.
Effective immediately, the Michigan Capitol building prohibits open carry firearms inside the building from the state’s Capitol Commission, after a unanimous vote 6-0. The Michigan State Capitol Commission is responsible for overseeing the Capitol and ultimately for making a decision on the future of firearms, pushed back on accepting the responsibility last year. The vote came after months of debate in wake of armed supporters of President Donald Trump that stormed the state Capitol in April to people who opposed Governor Gretchen Whitmer's COVID-19 restrictions. Concerns of security were reignited after the U.S Capitol in Washington D.C was under attack last week to overturn the 2020 Election that left 5 people dead.
After the vote, Governor Gretchen Whitmer released the following statement, "No lawmaker, reporter, staff member, or anyone who works in the Michigan Capitol should fear for their safety at work. But in the past year, we have seen a rapid rise in violent rhetoric and threats to public safety that require our immediate action," her statement read. "In April of 2020, armed protestors stormed the Michigan Capitol and stood in the gallery, long guns in hand, looking to intimidate legislators doing their job to serve the people of Michigan. And last week, we saw an armed insurgency occur in our nation’s capitol. This cannot stand. We must take immediate action to protect everyone who steps foot in our state Capitol."
"The Capitol Commission’s action to ban open carry guns at the Capitol is a good start, but more action is needed. On a normal day, hundreds of people walk through the Capitol, including groups of fourth graders, teachers, and parents on school field trips to learn about state government," Whitmer continued. "That’s why we must take action to ban all weapons at the Capitol to keep Michiganders safe. I am hopeful that the Capitol Commission will recognize the need for further action, and I stand ready to assist in implementing this policy to keep Michiganders safe."
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel appreciates the Commission’s decision today to prohibit the open carry of firearms and feels it’s only a single step down the long path of reforms that are necessary to make legislators, state employees and visitors safe in the state Capitol. “Firearms – whether explicitly visible or concealed by clothing, possess the same capability to inflict injury and harm on others and only banning open carry does little to meaningfully improve the safety and security of our Capitol. I urge the Commission or our Legislature to take the proper action and pass the necessary reforms that truly take into account the safety of those visiting and working in our Capitol. Today’s actions are simply not enough to do that,” said Nessel.