Apparently fearing a situation mirroring what happened in Washington, D.C., the Michigan State Capitol Commission has issued an order prohibiting the open carry of firearms in the state capitol in Lansing, according to Fox News.
The report noted efforts to ban firearms in the capitol building since April 2020 when protesters angered over Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s coronavirus restrictions descended on the capitol. At least some of them were armed, Fox recalled.
According to the Lansing State Journal, the commission “hastily scheduled” the meeting for Monday in the wake of the Washington, D.C. massive protest. “Open carry firearms in the Capitol’ was the only topic they placed on the agenda,” the newspaper reported.
The Lansing report noted incoming state House Speaker Jason Wentworth, a Clare Republican, “argued commissioners do not have authority to set a weapons policy.” He promised to look at “options” for addressing this concern, and in the meantime, Michigan State Troopers will be enforcing the open carry ban, and he hopes activists will respect it for the time being.
Democrat State Sen. Dayna Polehanki wants a complete ban on firearms in the capitol building, the State Journal reported. She contended that since “most mass shootings are carried out with handguns,” firearms of all types can be deadly. While nobody was injured last April 30 during the COVID restrictions protest, what happened in Washington, D.C. “showed how quickly lives can be changed in an instant.”
Compounding their concerns was the revelation by the FBI that there are “plans for armed protests in all 50 state capital cities” leading up to the inauguration of Joe Biden as president on Jan. 20. According to a separate Fox News report, along with several other news agencies, the FBI is focusing its efforts “on identifying, investigating, and disrupting individuals that are inciting violence and engaging in criminal activity.” The FBI said it does not focus on “peaceful protesters.”
Back in Michigan, Fox News quoted Sen. Polehanki asserting, “There is no reason any gun belongs in the Capitol, it’s absurd, the world thinks it’s absurd. It sickens me that this is even being considered as a viable action.”
It’s not clear whether that remark also applied to armed capitol security, or just private citizens.