Michigan Lawmaker: Ban Guns from Capitol

A Michigan lawmaker saw a recent “open carry day,” in which citizens marched around the state Capitol building legally and openly carrying firearms, as a reason to introduce a law that would fix what he calls a “disparity in that we favor the Second Amendment over the First Amendment.”

State Rep. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) told the Detroit Free Press that he was watching advocates for laws that allow gun owners to carry their firearms openly anywhere they choose parade around the building, and reflected that "if they entered the Capitol, they would have to leave their signs outside," but not their firearms.

Because of contentious protests regarding the right-to-work votes in 2012, signs have been banned inside the Capitol building. The right-to-work laws make it illegal to require payment of union dues or fees as a condition of employment, producing fierce protests from thousands of union members.

The bills introduced by Moss would ban guns from state buildings (carried openly or concealed) and would reverse the ban on bringing signs into the Capitol.

The story points out the spurt of legal activity regarding firearms in Michigan. Over the past 18 months, a couple dozen bills either strengthening or loosening gun regulations have been introduced, but the story says many of those haven't gotten a hearing, because there are simply more important items on the agenda.

“It’s unlikely, even with the display of weapons Wednesday, that the current gun bills will go anywhere—especially in an election year.

“‘There’s still a lot of discussion about what we could move,’ said Michigan Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-Olive Township), adding the top priorities for the Senate before summer break is approving the budget, energy policy, and a fix for the Detroit Public Schools. ‘There is a compromise language that the NRA is considering and shopping around.’

“Moss said he’s hoping to get some support for the bill that would allow people to once again bring signs into the Capitol. But the ban on guns in state buildings is highly unlikely to see any action.

“‘I always hear from gun rights advocates that it’s important to have guns in public places because a good person with a gun...is needed to combat the bad person with the gun,’ he said. ‘The reality is the Michigan State Police are already here. I don’t think everybody in this place needs to be carrying a gun.’”