Commission considers options on allowing guns in Capitol

Michigan

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) — If the decision is made to ban all weapons in Michigan’s Capitol, it would come with a hefty price tag.

The Michigan State Capitol Commission has three options on the table: Do nothing, which would continue to allow weapons in the building; ban long guns; or ban all guns.

If the Commission votes to ban all weapons, there will be a cost for metal detectors and X-ray machines. The state would also have to hire five employees to operate checkpoints. The total cost is could run from $500,000 to $1.3 million.

With the state facing a whopping $3 billion deficit for the next fiscal year, the Republican-led Legislature would probably not approve that expenditure. However, support for a total ban could lead to exploration of other ways to raise those funds.

Some lawmakers have talked about banning weapons in the House and Senate galleries but House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, does not favor that or, for that matter, any ban on weapons in the building.

“I don’t want to restrict the right of the people to keep and bear arms and that applies to the entire Capitol,” Chatfield said.

It looks like maintaining the status quo is a real possibility, but the final decision will come from the Capitol Commission in another month or so.

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