January 11th, 2021 at 1:00 p.m.
The Michigan Capitol Commission Committee held a meeting concerning the ban of open carry of a firearm inside the Michigan State Capitol building. The public was able to view the meeting, but no public comment was heard. Was this a violation of Open Meetings Act? Possibly. But that's another discussion.
In attendance were:
Gary Randall, Chair
John Turscott, Vice-Chair
After brief introductions in this eleven minute meeting, the Capitol Commission turned the meeting over to the two committee members assigned to the Special Investigative Committee, Bill Kandler and John Truscott.
Their task was to use extensive due-dilligence and look at all issues and what is involved with moving forward on a ban of firearms in the capitol.
Mr Kandler stated that before May, the commission had no idea that they would be dealing with the issue of guns in the capitol building. He was under the impression that it was always a legislative issue. Based off the Attorney General's Opinion, this was not a legislative issue. It was within the power of the Capitol Commission to determine what could come into the building.
After looking at other building's security, such as the Supreme Court Building, the Special Committee decided the resources and funds left them with the only option of implementing a ban on open carry in the building. Mr. Kandler stated they have no real authority to implement the infrastructure to go beyond that.
The Special Commission Committee feels the best and most honest policy to implement is a ban on open carry inside the Capitol.
Mr. Truscott was then given the floor to read the language to be implemented.
The motion reads:
"No person may carry a firearm in the public areas inside the Michigan State Capitol Building. Exceptions to this include the Michigan State Police, Capitol Security officers, Seargents at arms of the Michigan Senate or House of Representatives, Law Enforcement officers licensed by the Michigan Commission of Law Enforcement Standards in the performance of their official duties if the officer is in uniform or otherwise properly identified, and a person with a valid Concealed Pistol License issued by any state who is carrying a weapon in compliance the Michigan CPL regulations."
William Kandler then went on to add that "That last sentence is to make sure we're not trying to argue that if you have a CPL license, then you're okay to carry open carry. We didn't want that loophole to be there, so we just wanted to make sure that was clear".
The vote was unanimous and will be effective immediately upon its enactment.
Michigan Attorney General, Dana Nessel, quickly responded with a statement "Though I appreciate the Commission’s decision today to prohibit the open carry of firearms, it’s only a single step down the long path of reforms that are necessary to make our legislators, state employees and visitors safe in our state Capitol. Firearms – whether explicitly visible or concealed by clothing – possess the same capability to inflict injury and harm on others and only banning open carry does little to meaningfully improve the safety and security of our Capitol. I urge the Commission or our Legislature to take the proper action and pass the necessary reforms that truly take into account the safety of those visiting and working in our Capitol. Today’s actions are simply not enough to do that.”
Governor Gretchen Whitmer released a statement "No lawmaker, reporter, staff member, or anyone who works in the Michigan Capitol should fear for their safety at work. But in the past year, we have seen a rapid rise in violent rhetoric and threats to public safety that require our immediate action. In April of 2020, armed protestors stormed the Michigan Capitol and stood in the gallery, long guns in hand, looking to intimidate legislators doing their job to serve the people of Michigan. And last week, we saw an armed insurgency occur in our nation’s capitol. This cannot stand. We must take immediate action to protect everyone who steps foot in our state Capitol. The Capitol Commission’s action to ban open carry guns at the Capitol is a good start, but more action is needed. On a normal day, hundreds of people walk through the Capitol, including groups of fourth graders, teachers, and parents on school field trips to learn about state government. That’s why we must take action to ban all weapons at the Capitol to keep Michiganders safe. I am hopeful that the Capitol Commission will recognize the need for further action, and I stand ready to assist in implementing this policy to keep Michiganders safe.”
Does a CPL ban a person from lawfull open carry?
Is there an Attorney General Opinion regarding CPL holders and open carry of a firearm?
What are your thoughts? Please let us know in the comments below.
You can view the meeting here: https://www.facebook.com/fox17online/videos/716268799079631
Christie Bass is a wife and mother of 3 children. She is a USCCA Firearms instructor and Training Counselor dedicated to empowering all human beings and helping them to realize just how valuable they truly are. She is adamant that we take all steps necessary to teach individuals how to keep themselves free from violence and believes human life holds the highest value.