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Bills would ban guns in state buildings, allow signs in state Capitol

michigan state capitol building in lansing, mi
Lester Graham
/
Michigan Radio
Lawmakers in Lansing may have to cut revenue sharing with local governments to fill the $1.8 billion budget hole.

Right now it's lawful to carry firearms into state buildings in Michigan. But it's illegal to bring a political sign into the state Capitol.  

A package of bills introduced today in the Michigan House would reverse that.

The legislation would prohibit people from carrying open or concealed firearms in state buildings -  while lifting the ban on carrying signs into the state Capitol. 

The bills' sponsors, Robert Wittenberg, D-Oak Park, and Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield, say it makes no sense to turn away a person with a political sign while welcoming a visitor with a deadly weapon.

"I think people would be really surprised to hear that your Second Amendment right is more important than your First Amendment right," said Wittenberg. "And you are allowed to carry in the Capitol a weapon, but not a sign."

Moss said the bills would mirror federal policy. "You are not allowed to have a concealed or open carry weapon with you to enter a federal building," said Moss. "And we're taking that same approach on the state level."

Rob Harris, media director for Michigan Open Carry, Inc., said banning guns in state buildings would violate the Second Amendment.

"The bills are an affront to any freedom loving person," said Harris. "These are the people's buildings."

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