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UPDATE: State to consider banning guns inside Capitol

Whitmer calls Lansing protests 'disturbing'
Posted at 7:22 PM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 19:30:22-04

LANSING, Mich. — Guns could be banned from the Michigan Capitol Building.

The Capitol Commission, the group in charge of maintaining the building, is considering banning guns after some lawmakers felt threatened when protesters armed with rifles filled the statehouse Thursday.

Guns are already banned from state office buildings and state parks. Some legislatures say it's time to add the Capitol Building to the list.

"It seems the Capitol Building would fall in the category of a lot of other places," said Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr., D - East Lansing. "I believe in the second amendment and I think there are proper places, but there are certain situations where emotions run high and the capitol building can certainly be one of them."

Last week proved that.

Hundreds of people protesting Governor Gretchen Whitmer's "stay home" order stormed the statehouse while the legislature was in session Thursday.

"I've been at the capitol on open carry day. I never really felt unsafe in that building until this past week," said Sen. Hertel.

Vice chairman of the Capitol Commission John Truscott said that's why they are looking into a ban.

"We had some concerns, a lot of people do, about the safety of the folks serving and working in the building," he said.

However, Truscott said the commission might not be able to change the rules.

"Typically where they are banned, they've been banned by the legislature. Our law we have an open carry law which allows people to carry openly except in certain gun free zones," said Truscott.

It's legislation Sen. Hertel said he'd support.

"I certainly shouldn't be worried about my own safety or being intimidated by someone with a weapon," said Sen. Hertel.

House Speaker Lee Chatfield told "Michigan Information and Research Service" Monday he's not interested in banning guns inside the Capitol because everyone should have the right to express their constitutional rights inside the people's house.

The commission is expected to make a decision next Monday.

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