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Dana Nessel says guns can be banned at the state Capitol

head shot of Dana Nessel
Jodi Westrick
Michigan Radio

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says the commission in charge of running the state Capitol is allowed to ban guns inside the building.

She gave that advice Friday to the Michigan State Capitol Commission, which controls public areas of the building.

The commission is considering new restrictions on firearms after protesters last week carried guns into the building. Many were dressed in para-military gear. Some lawmakers said they felt threatened while trying to do their jobs.

“And they shouldn’t be under threat. And the public, the general public, school children, anyone at all who wants to watch democracy in action should not feel like in order to do so, they’re life has to be placed in jeopardy," Nessel said. "It’s outrageous.”

Credit Courtesy Senator Dayna Polehanki / Twitter

Nessel says that’s not acceptable, and the commission is allowed to set rules to protect lawmakers and the public.

“And the only way we can ensure their safety is to do exactly what we do in courthouses all around the state, exactly what we do in other public buildings around, and ensure that firearms cannot be brought by the general public into the building.”

Nessel says her office will defend actions by the commission in court.

The commission has an online meeting scheduled for Monday.

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Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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