Capitol Commission rejects 2 proposals to ban guns at Lansing capitol building

The Michigan Capitol Commission rejected proposals Monday that would ban weapons in the State Capitol building, a move that has some lawmakers frustrated and fearing for their safety. 

"When white supremacists come to this building, they are targeting people that look like Rep. Carter and I. We are terrified," said State Rep. Sarah Anthony Monday after hearing of the rejection.

Former Lansing Rep. Joan Bauer offered a total ban on all weapons that was defeated on a 4-2 vote. Then former Secretary of the Senate Bill Kandler offered a ban on long guns, which also failed on a 3-3 vote.

Rep. Anthony sobbed during her remarks as she recalled the open-carry gun rally outside the House Chambers months ago when she sat inside.

"It is not a matter of if something happens - if violence happens in this building - it is a matter of when," she said.

The Commission Chair Gary Randall explained the two GOP legislative leaders now want to meet with the Commission to discuss ways to address the gun issue. Rep. Kandler, who favors a weapons ban, argues equipment money is needed now to enforce the ban - money that has not been allocated.

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"If we pass this today, tomorrow nothing changes. There's no magnetometers at the doors, X-ray machines, and no security. And so people can just flout it and it's a bad example to have a law or policy in place that is just flouted or ignored," Rep. Kandler said.

The Commission Chair wants a meeting with Republican leaders this week or next to decide how to proceed. In the meantime, some African American lawmakers continue to be concerned.

"I live in fear and I shouldn't have to," said Rep. Brenda Carter.