As another Lansing protest looms, lawmaker pushes for Capitol gun ban

Posted at 6:26 PM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 18:45:21-04

LANSING (WXYZ) — As protesters prepare to descend on the state Capitol Thursday, senate Democrats are again advocating for a ban of firearms inside the Capitol building.

Senator Dayna Polehanki (D-Livonia) announced Tuesday that she will introduce a resolution urging the Michigan State Capitol Commission to ban guns in the Capitol.

“We support both First and Second Amendment rights here in Michigan,” Polehanki said, “but intimidating legislators, staff and visitors—many of whom are children—with guns is an affront to the Democratic process.”

In a tearful address, State Senator Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) implored her colleagues to take action, saying “this is about spreading blood on the front lawn of this building.”

Just 12 days earlier, during protests of the Governor’s stay at home order, men donning military style weapons were seen hovering above lawmakers. At least one lawmaker wore a bullet proof vest.

“This is intimidating and it is not welcome,” McMorrow said. “And my question back is, what the hell are we going to do about it? Or do we wait until something happens?”

Right now, the State Capitol Commission says its researching whether they can or should ban firearms in the capitol building. Some members expressed a hesitancy to ban weapons, citing the state's open carry law.

In neighboring Ohio, firearms are banned in the state capitol building. In Indiana, lawmakers and staff are allowed to carry firearms, but the general public is not.

On Monday, Attorney General Dana Nessel issued an opinion saying the commission has the authority to take action, though it is not expected to reach a decision this week.

In anticipation of Thursday’s protest, Polehanki said she is concerned about more armed men and women entering the Capitol.

“My local police department is looking for a female bullet proof vest for me in the event that I do go to Lansing on Thursday,” Polehanki said. “Because I have seen the threats, they’re not just against the Governor. They’re also against legislators.”

Online threats against Governor Whitmer were detailed Monday in a report published in the Metro Times.

“People can have any opinion they want, but to threaten someone else is beyond the pale,” the Governor said. “And it is not right.”

Today on the Senate floor, Majority Leader Mike Shirkey disavowed the threats.

“It is never okay to threaten the safety or life of another person, elected or otherwise, period,” he said.

7 Action News made repeated requests with Shirkey spokewoman Amber McCann to speak with a Republican senate lawmaker for comment on Polehanki’s resolution.

McCann did not respond.

Contact 7 Investigator Ross Jones at or at (248) 827-9466.