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Politics & Government

Proposed House Bills Seek To Ban Guns In State Capitol, Legislative Office Buildings

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Lester Graham
/
Michigan Radio

Democrats in the Michigan House of Representatives are introducing legislation to ban guns in and around the state Capitol.

House Bill 4023 would add the Capitol building, its grounds, and the Anderson House Office Building and Binsfield Senate Office Building to the list of places in Michigan where possessing a firearm is illegal, with the exception of law enforcement.

House Bill 4024 would make the concealed carry of a firearm illegal in the Capitol building, the grounds, and House and Senate office buildings, again with the exception of law enforcement.

The Michigan State Capitol Commission adopted a ban on the open carry of guns in the Capitol two weeks ago, shortly after the attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., but people with concealed pistol licenses are exempt from the ban.

Julie Brixie represents Meridian Township and sponsored HB 4023. She wrote in a statement that the ban from the commission was not enough.

"Prohibiting open-carry may prevent militia members from standing over lawmakers in the galleries with their guns drawn, but it doesn’t address the very real threat of violence that exists as long as guns are still allowed."

She voiced safety concerns for lawmakers, adding, "Until we expressly prohibit all firearms at the Capitol and the legislative office buildings, we continue to allow militia members to dictate whether or not the Legislature can safely get to work for the people of Michigan at a time when they need our support the most."

Tyrone Carter is a representative from Detroit and sponosored HB 4024. He also spoke strongly about the safety concerns of state lawmakers.

"Once firearms are being used as a threat or a means of intimidation, it’s no longer a protest — it’s a recipe for disaster." He added, "Our Capitol served as the dress rehearsal for what we saw unfold in the U.S. Capitol."

Debate over guns in the Capitol began in earnest last year, after people openly carrying guns entered the Senate gallery in April during a protest in Lansing. Some of the individuals were later charged with attempting to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

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