Attorney General suggests Michigan lawmakers buy bulletproof vests, gas masks for work


Photo Credit: David Marvin

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)—The Michigan Attorney General has recommended that lawmakers buy bulletproof vests, helmets, and possibly even gas masks before they return to work at the Capitol.

Dana Nessel made her comments in an interview aired on 60 Minutes on Sunday.

It follows an attack on the Capitol in Washington D.C. on January 6th in which a police officer was killed, a protester was shot, and several other people died because of health concerns.

It also follows protests that were planned in the 50 state capitals across the nation on Sunday. Word of the protests prompted an FBI bulletin. But while some protests took place, few drew any significant crowds, including the one in Lansing.

But threats did prompt lawmakers to cancel sessions that were planned this week. And while the Michigan Capitol Commission banned the open carry of guns inside the building last week, Nessel says the building is still not safe.

In a series of January 12th tweets, Nessel said the new rules don’t check to see if people carrying concealed weapons are allowed to do so, and without metal detectors, people could still bring weapons in bags or in their clothing.

“My job is not to provide state employees & residents or other visitors to our Capitol with a false sense of security, especially given the current state of affairs in Michigan and around the nation,” she said.

“I repeat-the Michigan Capitol is not safe.”

Now, Nessel is advising lawmakers to buy their own gear to stay safe while on the floor of the House and Senate.

“I have recommended to the legislators that I know that they go to, you know, an Army store and purchase Kevlar vests, purchase helmets, perhaps gas masks,” she said to CBS correspondent Bill Whitaker. “And these are the kinds of items now that our state legislators are having to purchase just to provide some sense of security to themselves – so they can feel at least a little bit safer while they’re in session.”

Militia members have been active in Michigan. They regularly attend rallies at the Capitol (though not the most recent one), and more than a dozen people face state or federal charges because prosecutors say they planned to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer and blow up the Capitol.

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