(Reuters) – The Michigan State Capitol Commission voted unanimously on Monday to ban the open carry of firearms inside the state Capitol building in Lansing, a move prompted by last week’s deadly mob attack in Washington.
The commission, which manages the state Capitol and its grounds, pushed forward to Monday a meeting scheduled for Jan. 25 and voted 6-0 to enact the measure, said John Truscott, vice chairman of the commission.
“Given what’s going on across the country, we moved up our meeting to consider the issue,” Truscott said in an email. “It’s now done and will be implemented by Michigan State Police.”
Thousands of supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, forcing lawmakers who were certifying Democratic President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory into hiding in a harrowing assault that left five dead.
The Michigan move also followed a push by some lawmakers in Lansing to shore up security after a failed plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, and the convergence in April of armed militia members and other protesters on the state Capitol to protest her social-distancing restrictions, some chanting: “Lock her up.”
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement that she welcomed prohibition of open carry, but described it as a single, insufficient step given that people could still carry firearms as long as they were concealed.
The first day of Michigan’s upcoming legislative session is scheduled for Wednesday. Like other states, officials are bracing for further protests by supporters of Trump and other demonstrators in the coming days.
(Reporting by Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut; Editing by Peter Cooney)