LANSING, MICHIGAN — The Capitol Commission has voted to permit state lawmakers to carry concealed weapons into the state capitol in Lansing. The decision, which was made by a 4-2 vote, reverses an earlier ban. Now, lawmakers with hidden weapons will be able to enter the building along with police officers, the FBI, and some maintenance workers, while others will have to pass through gun-detecting devices. Michelle Hoitenga, a proponent of concealed carry rights, had previously planned to ask the courts to block the ban but now expressed satisfaction with the reversal, though she raised concerns about lawmakers receiving special treatment.
Some commissioners who voted against the change pointed out that theoretically all 148 lawmakers could have guns on the House and Senate floors. Estimates suggest that between 20 and 30 legislators carry concealed weapons to work on any given day.
Despite concerns about special treatment for lawmakers and whether the presence of concealed guns will make the House and Senate floors safer, the new policy will be in place for the opening of the fall session after Labor Day. The new weapons detectors will still be operational for school kids, other tourists, and the public to pass through.