Lansing, Mich. (WLNS)– Some state lawmakers are calling for a gun ban in the Capitol building after a number of armed protesters entered the Capitol last week and demanded to be let onto the Senate floor.
“I’ve never seen anything like what we saw this past week. I had a colleague actually wearing a bullet-proof vest on the floor,” Sen. Curtis Hertel, D-23rd District, said.
Republican and Vice-Chair of the Michigan State Capitol Commission, John Truscott told 6 News that the commission is exploring the idea of a gun ban inside the building after several lawmakers said they felt threatened by last Thursday’s protesters.
“We’ve been dealing with what is the law, what is our jurisdiction. Is there any possibility of limiting people bringing loaded weapons in the building?” Truscott said.
The commission was created to manage, maintain, and restores the Michigan State Capitol Building and its grounds. Truscott said he supports the second amendment and even has a CPL, but doesn’t believe there is “no reason for any individual to bring a loaded rifle into the Capitol building.”
Protesters were held back from the Senate floor by Michigan State Police, but several entered the public gallery of the Senate holding rifles. Some shouted at state senators on the chamber floor.
Hertel believes the only reason people would bring guns into the building during session is to intimidate.
“I believe in the second amendment, but I think that there are reasonable restrictions and one of them being not standing in front of us with a long rifle while we’re trying to make decisions for the state,” Hertel said.
Truscott said the Capitol Commission will get a full briefing from its legal counsel on Monday,
but added that they’ve learned this decision would ultimately be up to the legislature.
House Speaker Lee Chatfield told Michigan Information & Research Service on Monday that he’s not interested in banning guns inside the capitol because it’s the “people’s house”.
“That’s unfortunate,” Hertel said.
Truscott said he’s doubtful that the legislature will enact a gun ban, but said after recent events and concerns from lawmakers, there will probably be a discussion on if other safety measures should be put into place.
6 News Reporter Brittany Flowers reached out to several Republican lawmakers, but did not hear back.