Back in 2020, during the height of the pandemic lockdowns, a number of people in Michigan were understandably upset. Their home state had some of the most draconian lockdown rules in the nation and none of them made any sense, even if you thought lockdowns themselves were good ideas.
So, some people protested at the capitol. They happened to be openly carrying guns, but they broke no laws by doing so.
What they did, though, was give people an excuse.
Despite no threats of violence, anti-gun lawmakers claimed their presence with a firearm alone constituted a threat and decided to take steps to try and ban guns from the capitol.
Now, some pro-gun lawmakers are pushing back.
A group of GOP pro-gun legislators is considering legislation to prohibit the state capitol commission from banning weapons in the state capitol building. That includes concealed weapons that some lawmakers want to carry onto the House and Senate floors.
About 25 members of the Michigan State House and Senate 2nd Amendment Caucus held a private Zoom skull session Tuesday night.
They believe the State Capitol Commission overstepped its authority by proposing a weapons ban in the Capitol building.
The chair of the pro-gun caucus argues the Capitol Commission was originally established by the legislature to make decisions only about maintaining the building inside and out. And the panel was not authorized to render political decisions such as a weapons ban.
The Republicans argue that power rests only with the legislature.
“The legislature created the capitol commission and put in there exactly what the capitol commission was responsible for, and then we had the attorney general come in an expand that for political purposes,” said State Rep. Phil Green (R). “It seems like the capitol commission was hijacked.”
I’m going to take a stab in the dark and guess those that want to ignore the Second Amendment in the state–after all, a lot of lawmakers there want gun control beyond a capitol gun ban–aren’t going to worry about whether the authority to ban those firearms is legitimate or not.
See, things like that only matter when they don’t like what’s being accomplished. Otherwise, it’s all good.
Yet that’s not the way our laws are supposed to work. If the commission lacks the authority to ban guns, it simply cannot ban guns lawfully. Any such ban can and would be challenged in court, thus costing the state money to defend an illegal ban.
Seems kind of stupid when I’m sure there are better ways to spend those funds.
Especially since anyone inclined to harm a lawmaker doesn’t even have to enter the capitol in the first place. Legislators can’t live in the building, after all, which means any protection afforded by things like metal detectors and armed security vanishes the moment they step out the door.
This isn’t about safety, it’s about power. The people who opposed the government happened to have guns, so now they’re going to be punished for daring to speak to power.
And if some of their fellow legislators who happen to disagree with them on the subject of guns get caught up and can’t carry their firearms lawfully, well, I suspect they won’t lose sleep over that, either.
At least, not until the courts toss the ban.