AG Nessel suggests state lawmakers buy bulletproof vests, gas masks for work


Protesters begin to gather outside the Michigan State Capitol on Jan. 17, 2021, amid a large police presence. (WLNS)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Michigan attorney general says lawmakers should buy bulletproof vests, helmets and possibly even gas masks before they return to work at the state Capitol.

“I have recommended to the legislators that I know that they go to an Army store and purchase Kevlar vests, purchase helmets, perhaps gas masks,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said to CBS correspondent Bill Whitaker during “60 Minutes” Sunday. “And these are the kinds of items now that our state legislators are having to purchase just to provide some sense of security to themselves so they can feel at least a little bit safer while they’re in session.”

Nessel made her comments following the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and threats that prompted Michigan’s Republican-led Legislature to cancel session this week.

While the Michigan Capitol Commission banned the open carry of guns inside the building last week, Nessel says the building is still not safe.

In a series of tweets on Jan. 12, she noted that security still isn’t checking for concealed carry permits when people enter the building with a concealed weapon and said that without metal detectors, people could still bring weapons in bags or in their clothing.

“My job is not to provide state employees & residents or other visitors to our Capitol with a false sense of security, especially given the current state of affairs in Michigan and around the nation,” she tweeted. “I repeat-the Michigan Capitol is not safe.”

Earlier this year, several militia members were arrested, accused of planning to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Another of their plans allegedly included attacking the state Capitol.

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