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Whitmer, Nessel call for banning all weapons at Capitol, say open carry ban is 'not enough'

Electoral College Protests Trump Michigan
Posted at 1:47 PM, Jan 11, 2021

(WXYZ) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel said the Michigan State Capitol Commission's move to ban the open carry of firearms in the Capitol building is "not enough."

"Firearms – whether explicitly visible or concealed by clothing – possess the same capability to inflict injury and harm on others and only banning open carry does little to meaningfully improve the safety and security of our Capitol," Nessel said. "I urge the Commission or our Legislature to take the proper action and pass the necessary reforms that truly take into account the safety of those visiting and working in our Capitol. Today’s actions are simply not enough to do that.”

RELATED: Commission votes to ban open carry of firearms at Michigan Capitol

Whitmer called for immediate action to "protect everyone who steps foot in our state Capitol," saying a rapid rise in violent rhetoric and threats to public safety requires immediate action.

"In April of 2020, armed protestors stormed the Michigan Capitol and stood in the gallery, long guns in hand, looking to intimidate legislators doing their job to serve the people of Michigan," Whitmer said. "And last week, we saw an armed insurgency occur in our nation’s capitol. This cannot stand. We must take immediate action to protect everyone who steps foot in our state Capitol."

“The Capitol Commission’s action to ban open carry guns at the Capitol is a good start, but more action is needed. On a normal day, hundreds of people walk through the Capitol, including groups of fourth graders, teachers, and parents on school field trips to learn about state government. That’s why we must take action to ban all weapons at the Capitol to keep Michiganders safe. I am hopeful that the Capitol Commission will recognize the need for further action, and I stand ready to assist in implementing this policy to keep Michiganders safe.”

“The Speaker is grateful for the work of the Capitol Commission, but it does not have the authority to set policy in the Capitol. The Speaker will be looking at options for handling that moving forward. In the meantime, the Michigan State Police will be enforcing the new ruling. In order to ensure there is no confusion in the Capitol, Speaker Wentworth asks everyone to respect the Michigan State Police and the rules they enforce.”

Speaker of the House-elect Jason Wentworth said the commission does not have "authority" to set policy in the Capitol and he will be "looking at options" for handling that moving forward. In the meantime, Michigan State Police will be enforcing the new ruling.