The Michigan Capitol Commission is considering whether to ban guns from the capitol building in Lansing. This comes a week after armed protestors stormed the building to protest stay-at-home orders imposed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued a formal opinion today saying based on current state laws, the commission has the authority to prohibit firearms in the capitol.
“I firmly believe in the right to protest, the right to demonstrate, and the right to loudly and strongly object to those causes that move us. These rights are so fundamental to our democracy that they are enshrined in the First Amendment of our Constitution. But it is also important to remember that the right to protest does not encompass the right to violence, or the right to harm those individuals with whom you disagree.”
The Detroit News says the commission “voted to form a special committee for studying its power to ban guns inside the Capitol building as lawyers offered differing legal opinions on the matter.”
The commission meeting which was done via Zoom apparently ended due to “public safety concerns” as meeting attendants reportedly received threats.
No decision to prohibit guns in the statehouse before Thursday’s armed rally. The Michigan Capitol Commission is creating a new committee to “study the issue” of firearms in the Capitol. And then they had to adjourn their online meeting due to threats from gun extremists. #mileg https://t.co/Su7U04G70C
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) May 11, 2020
The comments are especially disturbing because some of those calling for violence are planning to attend an armed rally at the Capitol building in Lansing on Thursday. On April 30, hundreds of protesters, some of them heavily armed, descended on the state Capitol during the “American Patriot Rally,” and there were armed protesters as part of “Operation Lansing” on April 15. A two-day rally is also planned for the weekend.
Watch more above from the NBC affiliate in Detroit.