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Friday, April 30, 2021

Loophole exploited in ban on open carry of guns at state Capitol

Posted By on Fri, Apr 30, 2021 at 11:11 AM

click to enlarge Armed protesters stormed the Michigan Capitol building in April 2020. - SEN. DAYNA POLEHANKI TWITTER ACCOUNT @SENPOLEHANKI
  • Sen. Dayna Polehanki Twitter account @SenPolehanki
  • Armed protesters stormed the Michigan Capitol building in April 2020.

The recent ban on the open carry of firearms inside the Michigan Capitol building has a glaring loophole that at least one gun owner has already exploited.

When the Michigan State Capitol Commission unanimously approved the ban in January, it included an exemption for concealed pistol license (CPL) holders. The idea was that CPL holders could still enter the Capitol building with a concealed gun.

Trouble is, the ban never mentioned that CPL holders could not open carry. So when a man with a CPL walked into the Capitol building with a gun visibly upholstered on his hip earlier this month, Michigan State Police allowed him inside with the weapon, The Detroit News reports.

"If you’re in compliance with the Michigan CPL regulations, you can open carry in the state Capitol,” Dean Greenblatt, a lawyer for the group Michigan Open Carry, said. “But I would agree with you that people are under the mistaken assumption that this rule would ban open carry. That’s not what they did."

Now the commission is considering closing the loophole.

“We had consulted with numerous people, and we thought it was about as tight as it could be,” John Truscott, vice chairman for the commission, said. “It is not our intent to allow open carry in the building so, if we need to tighten our language, we will.”

Some gun control advocates, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, have called on the commission to prohibit concealed weapons in the building, which is often crowded with people, including children on school field trips.

Calls to ban guns from the Capitol increased in April 2020, when menacing protesters with rifles entered the building, frightening lawmakers and state employees.

A poll released in October showed that 76% of Michigan voters said the state Capitol should ban guns.

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