UPDATE (Jan. 11, 2021):
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan has banned the open carry of guns in the state Capitol a week after an armed mob rioted in the U.S. Capitol and following a protest in the statehouse last year. Moves to ban weapons at the statehouse have been pushed since April, when protesters opposed to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 restrictions, some armed with long rifles and other weapons, entered the statehouse demanding to be allowed into the legislative chambers. The Michigan Capitol Commission has been reluctant to issue rules for firearms, but it shifted course Monday and issued the order to ban the open carry of weapons.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was quick to issue a statement following the commission's action.
(You can read her release below.)
“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. 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. 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.”
Meantime, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued the following statement after the Michigan State Capitol Commission’s action today regarding the open carry of firearms in the Capitol building:
“Though I appreciate the Commission’s decision today to prohibit the open carry of firearms, it’s only a single step down the long path of reforms that are necessary to make our legislators, state employees and visitors safe in our 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.”
ORIGINAL POST (Jan. 9, 2021):
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Concerns over security at Michigan's Capitol building have reignited after the U.S. Capitol came under attack by a mob of President Donald Trump's supporters last week. In Michigan, concealed and open carry firearms are allowed in the Capitol. Since last spring when armed protesters entered the Capitol and yelled at members of security outside the legislative chambers to be let inside, statewide calls to ban firearms in the statehouse have been made. Republican legislative leaders are reexamining their opposition and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is renewing her call for restrictions.