Legislators push to ban all weapons in state Capitol
However, anything coming from the House is almost dead on arrival in the Senate
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan’s 101st Legislature went back to work Wednesday amid ongoing threats.
This was the first time the lawmakers were in session since open carry was banned Monday.
Many lawmakers said they felt safe, but would like to see more done.
House Speaker Jason Wentworth said he’s putting his trust in the Michigan State Police.
“I think the state police are well prepared for anything may come,” said Speaker Wentworth.
A new sign now greets visitors to the Capitol reminding them of the new open carry ban, but there is still debate if it is enough.
Attorney General Dana Nessel said right now, the Capitol still isn’t safe.
“I disagree with the Attorney General. We are going to continue to look at our options. I trust the state police and their duties that they have and do every day,” said Speaker Wentworth.
One of those options includes a full weapons ban inside the Capitol.
The Capitol Commission said didn’t do that because there’s no money for metal detectors, which would be needed to enforce stricter measures.
State Representative Julie Brixie said she’s co-sponsoring a bill that will fix that.
And Representative Sarah Anthony said she feels it has a chance of passing.
“I will tell you that when you prioritize something, when the men and women, the leaders in this building decide to focus on something, we can find the money to prioritize,” said Rep. Anthony.
This comes as there have been more and more threats made against the Capitol and those who work inside.
Just last week, Michael Varrone, 48, was charged with falsely reporting a bomb at the building.
Friday, a fence will be going up around the Capitol to prevent protesters from damaging it.
Rep. Anthony said protecting everyone should be a priority all the time.
“I’m excited to be part of those conversations. I’m pretty sure the governor and the legislature can come together to prioritize public safety,” she said.
However, anything coming from the House is almost dead on arrival in the Senate.
“There is no reason for us to be going down that road in terms of metal detectors and so fourth. I think the decision made provides the state police and respective security for both chambers the ability to manage that,” said Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey.
Lawmakers are planning on coming back to work Tuesday.
That is during the window the FBI is warning police across the country about armed protests at state capitols.
The governor’s office tells News 10 it is closely monitoring the situation to make sure there is enough security.
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