Just a month after a group of unelected officials in Michigan banned the open carrying of firearms from the state Capitol, Michigan’s Democrat governor is attempting to codify that policy into law via the state’s budget bill.
The measure, which faces an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled state legislature, also includes five million taxpayer dollars to fund extra security at the Capitol, according to Associated Press.
“Public Information Officer for the State Budget Office Kurt Weiss said the plan would finance security staffing and equipment like metal detectors needed to implement a weapons ban, including a ban on concealed pistols,” that report said.
The total proposed budget is $67 billion.
The unelected Michigan Capitol Commission, which includes “the Secretary of the Senate, the Clerk of the House of Representatives, two individuals jointly appointed by the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House, and two individuals appointed by the Governor” unanimously voted to ban the open carrying of firearms at the Capitol in mid-January.
The group is primarily responsible for upkeep of the Capitol grounds.
“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,” Whitmer said when the Commission banned open carrying. “That’s why we must take action to ban all weapons at the Capitol to keep Michiganders safe.”
In May, armed protestors lawfully occupied the Michigan Capitol, demanding an end to the state’s COVID-19 lockdowns, which have been some of the strictest in the nation, sparking calls to ban guns from the premises.
“The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire. These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal,” former president Donald J. Trump said on Twitter at the time.
Whitmer has faced national scrutiny for her COVID-19 lockdown measures, which included banning gatherings in private homes. Two weeks ago, she decided to lift a contact sports ban, well after most other states, after she was sued by a nonprofit high school athletics advocacy group, among others.
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