LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — A group of GOP pro-gun lawmakers is considering legislation to prohibit the State Capitol Commission from banning weapons in the state Capitol building, including concealed weapons that some lawmakers want to carry onto the House and Senate floors.
About 25 members of the House and Senate Second Amendment Caucus held a private Zoom session last night. They believe the Michigan State Capitol Commission overstepped its authority by proposing a weapons ban in the Capitol building.
The chair of the Second Amendment Caucus argues the commission was originally established by the Legislature to make decisions only about maintaining the building inside and out, and that the panel was not authorized to make political decisions like a weapons ban.
The Republicans argue that the power rests only with the Legislature.
“The Legislature created the Capitol Commission and put in there exactly what the Capitol Commission was for, and then we had the Attorney General come in and expand that for political purposes,” said Rep. Phil Green (D-Millington), Chair of the Second Amendment Caucus.
“It seems like the Capitol Commission was hijacked,” Green said.
The commission has ordered the installation of pass-through devices to nab would-be gun carriers before they get inside the building.
“We don’t believe it is the right of the state or this Capitol Commission to do that.”
The commission originally decided that lawmakers with concealed weapons permits would be banned from bringing them onto the floor, but now it appears that the commission might lift that restriction.
But even if it does that, Green believes all these decisions should be made by lawmakers who are elected by the citizens, rather than an appointed Commission.
“Doing stuff through a commission stifles debate and takes the voice of the people out of the discussion and now, because a party won control, it gets to jam through whatever they want,” said Green.
But to remove power from the Commission, the Republicans need Democratic votes.
As Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel ruled the Capitol Commission has the authority to instate the weapons ban, Green and his colleagues may have to go to court to take that power away.