The Michigan State Capitol Commission is considering whether to ban firearms inside the capitol building. The six-member body voted down a motion to enact an immediate ban on Monday. Instead, the commission decided to arrange a meeting with top Republican leaders in the House and Senate to hear their input.
Commissioner William Kandler co-led a fact-finding mission to determine the feasibility of a gun ban. He’s concerned about how to enforce such a measure.
“If we pass this today, tomorrow nothing changes. There’s no magnetometers at the doors; X-ray machines…and no security people. And so people can just flout it. It’s a bad example to have a law or a policy in place that is just flouted and ignored.”
The commission heard testimony in favor of a ban from state representatives Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) and Brenda Carter (D-Pontiac). Both are Black women who spoke of living in fear of gun violence.
During public comment, Rep. Anthony tearfully recalled the events of April 30, when several armed protestors entered the Capitol. She pleaded with the commission to act.
“By not banning firearms in this building, you’re telling me that my life does not matter,” Anthony said.
Commissioner John Truscott says as an unelected body, enacting a firearms ban would be an overreach of the commission’s authority.