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Michigan Capitol Commission considering a ban on openly carrying firearms again

The commission is meeting Monday to discuss banning guns for second time in a year
The Michigan Capitol in Lansing.
The Michigan Capitol in Lansing.(WILX)
Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 7:07 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - The Michigan Capitol Commission is meeting again Monday to consider a ban on openly carrying guns in the building for the second time in a year.

Democrat lawmakers requested the emergency hearing to address safety in the Capitol building before the Michigan Legislature convenes a new term on Wednesday. They hope commissioners ban openly carried guns entirely from the complex in light of Wednesday’s riots at the U.S. Capitol.

The commission previously considered banning openly carried guns in the Michigan Capitol last May, weeks after a tense protest of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order with several armed people in the Rotunda while lawmakers were in session.

However, commissioners declined to enact an open carry ban at that time and instead left the issue for lawmakers to decide. Democrats introduced bills to ban guns in the Capitol last year, but they never received approval and died when the legislative term ended on Dec. 31.

Attorney General Dana Nessel said the commission has the authority to ban openly carried guns and she recommends they approve it Monday.

“I will do the same thing I have done repeatedly over the course of the last year, and that’s to urge the Capitol Commission and urge the state Legislature to act fast in banning firearms and other weapons from the Capitol just as we do every single courthouse,” she said.

WXYZ in Detroit talked with Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, a Republican from Clarklake, and he indicated that he would support taking steps to ban openly carrying firearms in the Capitol.

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