Commission punts on whether to ban open carry at the Capitol

May 11, 2020

Attorney General Dana Nessel

The Michigan State Capitol Commission has delayed a decision on whether to ban the open-carry of firearms in the building. The commission called for further study first.


The commission is responsible for the grounds and many public areas of the Capitol in Lansing. The commission’s lawyer says the group can NOT banish guns under Michigan’s open carry law. Attorney General Dana Nessel says the Capitol building – just like schools and courts -- is not subject to the law.

Nessel says she’s disappointed. But she says her office is ready to help prosecute protestors who break other laws. She says, for example, open-carry does not include permission to brandish or point guns in a threatening manner.

“That’s not acceptable behavior. You can’t do that anywhere. Why could you do that on the Capitol grounds?”

The commission chair says the review of its legal power, and how to coordinate with the Legislature and the governor will wrap up quickly.