Capitol gun debate continues over CPL holders in Lansing

Posted at 11:24 PM, Apr 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-30 23:24:11-04

(WXYZ) — We’ve confirmed the Michigan Capitol Commission is about to take another look at their policy banning open carry at the Capitol. It comes after a CPL holder was allowed to carry a gun on him, after displaying it openly.

“I was not aware there was a loophole, and really hope the Capitol Commission will address this,” says Senator Dayna Polehanki.

Polehanki took the now famous photo one year ago of armed militia members protesting inside the capitol, after opposing tougher COVID restrictions.

She adds, “We’re not safe. Kids are returning. School groups are returning for tours and our staff is returning. So, as long as any weapon is still welcome like concealed carry is, we’re not safe.”

But, others like Rep. Joe Bellino from Monroe disagree saying, “You want to come to the middle, then ban open carry but don’t ban concealed carry with a proper permit. No sense cutting out one part of the constitution just to placate others. I don’t like that at all.”

The debate has come back up after a CPL holder was allowed to keep his gun on his hip after police noticed it at the Capitol. While rules ban open carry at the Capitol, Bellino says he doesn’t have a problem with an armed CPL holder in the building.

“On one side of the aisle no one is scared and on the other, they’re all going to die tomorrow. Depends how you look at it,” says Bellino.

Currently, opinions differ on whether or not it should be allowed. A spokesperson for the commission says they never intended for anyone to be able to carry a weapon openly at this point.

But, state police say CPL holders are allowed to at this point.

“Our state police protected us that day, but it was clear we didn’t have enough security to take on the threat and protect us. My fear is that lives are lost,” says Rep. Darrin Camilleri.

No word yet on when the commission will meet to discuss a potential update to their policy.