Bill Text: MI SR0118 | 2019-2020 | 100th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: A resolution to urge the Michigan State Capitol Commission to prohibit firearms and other dangerous weapons in public areas of the state Capitol building and the Capitol grounds, and to install security screening checkpoints.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 14-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-05-20 - Referred To Committee On Government Operations [SR0118 Detail]

Download: Michigan-2019-SR0118-Introduced.html

 

 

senate Resolution No.118

Senators Polehanki, Bayer, Wojno, McMorrow, Alexander, Santana, McCann, Brinks, Ananich and Moss offered the following resolution:

A resolution to urge the Michigan State Capitol Commission to prohibit firearms and other dangerous weapons in public areas of the state Capitol building and the Capitol grounds, and to install security screening checkpoints.

Whereas, The Michigan State Capitol Commission, pursuant to the Michigan State Capitol Historic Site Act, 2013 PA 240, exercises control over the public areas of the state Capitol building and its grounds, including the rotunda and its galleries, the main corridors, the grand staircases, the ground floor entrances, and outdoor staircases; and

Whereas, The state Capitol building is a working government building. It houses the Senate and House chambers, Appropriations Committee rooms, and several legislative offices. Michigan legislators and staff regularly undertake the business of the state in the state Capitol building; and

Whereas, The state Capitol building is also the people's building. The state Capitol is open to school groups and individuals who explore the history of Michigan and its government and appreciate the structure itself. Hundreds of individuals may access the state Capitol building on any given day. Open access to the state Capitol allows Michigan citizens to learn our history, observe the legislative process, voice their opinions, and directly meet government representatives to address personal and professional needs; and

Whereas, It is important that legislators, staff, and the public are safe in the state Capitol building. Allowing individuals to carry firearms in the state Capitol building exposes state employees and citizens to unnecessary risk. The presence of firearms is meant to intimidate legislators, interrupt the democratic process, and block the ability of legislators to properly represent their constituents; and

Whereas, The Michigan State Capitol Commission has authority to restrict the carry of firearms in the state Capitol building. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued Opinion No. 7311 on May 11, 2020, stating that "restrictions on locations where firearms may be possessed do not need to be statutory." The Attorney General opined that the Michigan State Capitol Commission has been statutorily vested with "exclusive, broad authority to 'operate and manage' the Capitol site" and is "not prohibited from placing restrictions on carrying firearms at facilities under its control."; and

Whereas, Allowing citizens to carry firearms into the Michigan state Capitol building is not a constitutional right. The Supreme Court of the United States has affirmed, "Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited." In the Courtís opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, "Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms."; and

Whereas, Eight midwestern states ban firearms in their state capitols. Only three, including Michigan allow firearms. However, Minnesota and Wisconsin require permits or restrict possession to certain areas. Only Michigan has no constraint on possession in the state Capitol building; and

Whereas, Prohibiting firearms possession on the grounds of and in the state Capitol building and installing security screening checkpoints for individuals and their personal property to enforce the prohibition will ensure legislators, staff, and Michigan residents remain safe while using the state Capitol building; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate, That we urge the Michigan State Capitol Commission to prohibit firearms and other dangerous weapons in public areas of the state Capitol building and on Capitol grounds while exempting Capitol police and law enforcement officers; and be it further

Resolved, That we urge the Michigan State Capitol Commission to install security screening checkpoints to screen individuals and their personal property at entrances of the building and other locations as necessary, while exempting Capitol police and law enforcement officers; and be it further

Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the members of the Michigan State Capitol Commission.

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