The Michigan State Capitol Commission took unanimous action Monday to ban the open carry of firearms in the Capitol building in Lansing.
The New York Times notes that Michigan is an open carry state, yet the ban means firearms cannot be openly carried in the Capitol.
The ban was supported by Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) but opposed by House Speaker Jason Wentworth (R-Farwell), who does not believe the commission has the authority to enact the ban.
NEW: The Michigan Capitol Commission, in a sudden reversal, voted unanimously Monday to ban the open carry of guns inside the Michigan Capitol, effective immediately. Story coming to @freep #mileg #guns
— Paul Egan (@paulegan4) January 11, 2021
Concealed carry license holders will still be able to carry their firearms, concealed rather than open, and this drew the ire of State Rep. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing), who wanted all guns banned, period.
“The reality is that whether a gun is openly carried, or it’s concealed in a pocket or an oversized coat, it is still a deadly weapon,” Anthony said. “And I am still unsure if the men and women who work in this building every day feel any safer because of this action. I am excited that there’s a little momentum, but the work is not done.”
WAIT WAIT WAIT.
Let’s take a look back to May 2020 when MI State Rep. Sarah Anthony was ‘ESCORTED’ by “at least three African Americans carrying large rifles.”
"At least three African Americans carrying large rifles" escorted MI State Rep. Sarah Anthony into the State Capitol, a week after armed white men swarmed the building:https://t.co/RxTna1XhoM pic.twitter.com/nRECIIKzV4
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) May 6, 2020
Some of Michigan’s top Democrats are calling for further action, but commissioners said the open carry ban was as far as they could go.
CBS News quoted Kandler saying, “We determined that the extreme limit of our real authority to actually implement something was to implement a ban on open carry.”
Michigan’s rules about guns in the Capitol drew national attention in April when armed protesters were in the Senate gallery while the Legislature was considering whether to extend.
Directly above me, men with rifles yelling at us. Some of my colleagues who own bullet proof vests are wearing them. I have never appreciated our Sergeants-at-Arms more than today. #mileg pic.twitter.com/voOZpPYWOs
— Senator Dayna Polehanki (@SenPolehanki) April 30, 2020
Despite the open carry ban, some Michigan Democrats said the ruling does not go far enough and called for prohibiting all firearms in the Capitol. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the open carry ban is a “good start, but more action is needed.”