LANSING — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel wants to ban all guns on the state capitol when Democrats take control of Congress in January.
Authorities banned outdoor carrying of firearms on the Capitol last year, but Nessel said on April 30, 2020, when armed protesters and militiamen broke into the Capitol and watched the senators. It argues that more measures are needed to protect lawmakers and visitors from threats such as Work from above.
Concealed Pistol license holders can still carry weapons into buildings.
Nessel said he had discussed a complete ban with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and incoming legislative leaders Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) and Rep. Joe Tate (D-Detroit), according to the Gongwer News Service.
She revealed the meeting at a press conference on Thursday, announcing the sentencing of three members of the Wolverine Watchmen militia group who plotted Whitmer’s kidnapping in 2020.
“I basically begged[the lawmakers]to do something in the way of banning firearms in the Houses of Parliament to ensure the protection of the public,” Gongwer quoted Nessel as saying. “All we can do is make sure that the close call we had never happened again, and make sure we never have such an opportunity.”
A spokeswoman for Whitmer declined to comment. Brinks and Tate did not immediately respond to an inquiry from his Bridge on Friday.
Nessel’s request comes as Democrats pledge to prioritize gun control measures in the new year.
Democratic leaders have previously told Bridge Michigan that they plan to focus on three areas of gun control. Universal background checks, “red flag” laws that allow judges to temporarily confiscate firearms from people who pose a threat to themselves or others, and secure storage laws. Requires firearm owners to store their firearms in a safe manner.
Due to lack of funding and data, a limited number of studies have shown mixed results on the effectiveness of these laws. Most of the existing research indicates that such laws help reduce firearm-related casualties, but academics say more research is needed.
After nearly a year of debate, the Michigan State Capitol Commission banned openly carrying guns on the Capitol in January 2021, but claimed it didn’t have the budget or personnel to check for concealed weapons. However, it did not lead to a complete ban.
The six-member Capitol Commission, another body that oversees the Capitol, said lawmakers should spend more money on metal detectors to enforce a broader ban. Republicans, who oppose gun control, were in charge of Congress.
Possession of firearms is prohibited on the U.S. Capitol and other federal facilities unless carried by state and federal law enforcement officers. Guns are also prohibited in state courts, and a 2018 Supreme Court ruling gave school districts the power to ban guns on their property.