- Following four months of artificial delays and political gamesmanship, the Michigan Capitol Commission’s continued inaction regarding the safety and security of the general public, legislators and staff members is beyond the pale.
- The primary focus of today’s Capitol Commission meeting was discussing building enhancements, the grounds and new construction rather than exercising their authority and responsibility to safeguard the legislative process, ensure our representative democracy is not undermined through armed intimidation and protect the safety of the visitors, legislators, staff and employees.
- Prohibiting firearms within the Michigan State Capitol does not infringe on the Constitutional right to bear arms and is in keeping with the long-established gun free zones of other government facilities, including the Michigan Supreme Court, the Romney Building, and other state buildings and public schools in Michigan.
LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Capitol Commission continues to shirk their affirmed authority to reverse their long-standing policy allowing firearms within the statehouse. Using an array of political gamesmanship and other artificial stall tactics, the Capitol Commission’s continued inaction regarding the safety and security of the visitors, legislators, staff and employees creates undue stress and potentially places lives at risk.
While the Capitol Commission continues to ban signage from the Capitol Building that could damage the property, they also continue to orchestrate delay after delay regarding the well-being and safety of the people who work and visit the building. Later this week, the Capitol Commission has granted authority for an open carry event as the Republican-Legislative leadership has decided to avoid legislative session on this day.
“As evidenced by this week’s legislative session schedule change, it is clear our Republican colleagues understand the real danger guns in our Capitol present and have stage-managed the schedule to avoid the event this week,” said House Democratic Leader Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills). “Once again, the Capitol Commission’s continued lack of urgency and responsibility to protect the safety, well-being and lives of all who enter the State Capitol is reprehensible.”
In the 137 days since armed gunmen stormed our State Capitol building, there has been ample opportunity to engage traffic flow, security and other experts to determine the optimal method to effectively prohibit firearms in the building. Additionally, during their fact-finding on the implementation on a ban on firearms, the Michigan House Democratic Caucus and other critical stakeholders have not been engaged in this process. During today’s meeting, the Capitol Commission announced it will only meet with the Republican legislative leaders even as state Reps. Anthony and Brenda Carter both addressed the commissioners to urge immediate action.
“In 72 hours, there is an “open carry” event planned on the Capitol grounds with nearly six thousand people indicating their planned attendance and promising to bring thousands of firearms to our workplace, said House Democratic Caucus Chair Sarah Anthony, (D-Lansing). “To be clear, everyone has the Constitutional right to protest and watch government proceedings, but the threat of violence and intimidation of public officials during a vote cannot be tolerated. It’s time for leadership and action.”