A commission that oversees the State Capitol does not appear to have the authority to ban guns inside the building.
John Truscott, vice chairman of the Michigan State Capitol Commission, told the Associated Press that “early indications” from the panel’s lawyer suggest that “we do not have jurisdictions to prohibit weapons in the building. That’s a legislative function.”
On Tuesday, Truscott, a gun-owning Republican, said he was disturbed by the armed protesters who stormed the Capitol on April 30 to rally against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. He requested a legal opinion to determine whether the six-member commission, which is responsible for managing and maintaining the Capitol, had the authority to ban guns inside the building.
The Republican-led Legislature is unlikely to enforce a ban, even though Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirley called the armed protesters “jackasses” in a statement condemning them.
Metro Times couldn’t immediately reach GOP leaders for comment.
Directly above me, men with rifles yelling at us. Some of my colleagues who own bullet proof vests are wearing them. I have never appreciated our Sergeants-at-Arms more than today. #mileg pic.twitter.com/voOZpPYWOs— Senator Dayna Polehanki (@SenPolehanki) April 30, 2020
Truscott said it's not unusual for armed demonstrators to enter the Capitol and act responsibly, but the tenor of the rally was more alarming.
“It was the menacing nature, the fingers near the trigger,” Truscott told AP. “There is no reason to be in the Capitol building with your finger near the trigger.”
On Wednesday, state Rep. Sarah Anthony, a Democrat, was escorted into the Capitol by at least three rifle-toting African Americans.
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