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Michigan’s attorney general warned that the Capitol in Lansing is “not safe,” despite a state panel banning the open carry of weapons in the building and after an FBI warning that statehouses across the country should be on alert for armed protests leading up to next week’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
“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,” Attorney General Dana Nessel posted on Twitter Tuesday.
“I repeat-the Michigan Capitol is not safe,” she said.
The State Capitol Commission on Monday approved the open carry ban, a measure that has been sought since armed protesters rallied at the statehouse in Lansing in April to protest coronavirus restrictions and after the feds broke up a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in October.
Also on Monday, the FBI put out a bulletin warning that unrest could break out across the nation in the leadup to Inauguration Day.
“Armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the U.S. Capitol from 17 January through 20 January,” the bulletin said.
Nessel said the ban passed by the panel fell too short of protecting lawmakers, employees and visitors to the statehouse, adding that “it’s only a single step down the long path of reforms that are necessary.”
“Firearms – whether explicitly visible or concealed by clothing – possess the same capability to inflict injury and harm on others and only banning open carry does little to meaningfully improve the safety and security of our Capitol. I urge the Commission or our Legislature to take the proper action and pass the necessary reforms that truly take into account the safety of those visiting and working in our Capitol. Today’s actions are simply not enough to do that,” she said in a statement on Monday.
Supporters of President Trump last Wednesday surged past Capitol Police officers to gain access to the Capitol in DC.
Inside they trashed congressional offices, posed for pictures on the Senate floor and disrupted a joint session of Congress to certify the Electoral College results for Biden.
Five people died because of the chaos, including a Capitol Police officer who died on Thursday from injuries he received defending the building.
With Post wires
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