The Michigan Capitol Commission has voted to ban guns’ open carry inside the state’s capitol building in Lansing. The unanimous decision came Monday as armed protestors took control of the United States capitol building in Washington D.C late last week.
Last April, in a similar scene to last week’s insurrection at the nation’s capitol building, hundreds of protestors rallied on Michigan’s capitol building’s steps in response to the governor’s mask ordinance and other COVID-19 restrictions. At that time, the commission chose to table the vote. Now, looking to keep both Michiganders and state government workers safe, the commission has voted to enforce a strict ban on open carry guns at the Capitol.
“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,” Gov. Whitmer says. “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.”
Under the ban, citizens are prohibited from openly carrying firearms in or on the state capitol grounds. Currently, there are no restrictions in place for carrying concealed weapons at the capitol building. Critics of the ban say the efforts are not enough to keep residents safe.
“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.”
As the nation watched hundreds of Trump supporters take siege of the country’s capitol building, lawmakers then pushed for swift action and steep punishments for the armed trespassers. According to the Department of Justice, thirteen arrests have been made so far, with violators facing a range of federal charges from disorderly conduct to making interstate threats.
In response to the insurgency, the FBI released a bulletin warning of insurrection plans in all 50 states by Pro-Trump extremist groups should Donald Trump be impeached or forcibly removed from office. ABC News reports the bulletin gives a detailed account of plans of an uprising should Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet enacts the 25th amendment stripping the current president of his powers before inauguration day.
The nation will continue to watch as President-elect Joe Biden gets ready to be sworn in on January 20. The Michigan gun ban takes effect immediately.