GENERIC: Michigan state capitol

A board overseeing Michigan’s Capitol determined Tuesday that it has the legal authority to decide whether guns will continue to be allowed in the building and on its grounds.

The Michigan State Capitol Commission reviewed a formal legal opinion by Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel that said the board had the power to prohibit firearms at the Capitol.

In April, a number of people carrying semi-automatic weapons and other guns took part in a protest at the Capitol over Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s orders that closed many businesses in the state to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The “American Patriot Rally” started on the Statehouse steps, where members of the Michigan Liberty Militia stood guard with weapons and tactical gear, their faces partially covered. They later moved inside the Capitol along with several hundred protesters, who demanded to be let onto the House floor, which is prohibited.

Some protesters with guns — which are allowed in the Statehouse — went to the Senate gallery, where a senator said some armed men shouted at her. Some senators wore bulletproof vests.

The commission in May delayed a decision on banning guns. Commissioners are scheduled to meet again on July 13.

Republican Commission Chair Gary Randall implored commissioners to consider the financial implications of banning guns. Detection equipment and other resources could cost at least $250,000.

But Commissioner Joan Bauer, a Democrat, said the issue should be handled as soon as possible. Even though the state will have trouble amid the coronavirus pandemic to find money in the budget, a gun-related tragedy would have a greater impact on the state, she said.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

CLICK HERE to download the TV5 app.

Locations

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.