Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is speaking out in support of banning guns inside of the state Capitol following stay-at-home protests.
The Democratic governor expressed concern about the armed protesters during an interview with NBC News Wednesday.
Whitmer also offered an example of a typical workday for legislators who now wear bulletproof vests to work as a result of armed protestors bringing assault rifles, nooses, and swastikas into the Capitol building.
“There are legislators who are wearing bulletproof vests to go to work,” Whitmer said. “No one should be intimidated by someone who’s bringing in an assault rifle into their workplace.”
Directly above me, men with rifles yelling at us. Some of my colleagues who own bullet proof vests are wearing them. I have never appreciated our Sergeants-at-Arms more than today. #mileg pic.twitter.com/voOZpPYWOs— Senator Dayna Polehanki (@SenPolehanki) April 30, 2020
Because of this, she is in support of efforts to possibly ban firearms inside of the Capitol building.
She said, “No one should be intimidated by someone who’s bringing in an assault rifle into their workplace. And so there is conversation about changing that law. I think it’s long overdue, and I absolutely support that change. You shouldn’t be intimidated going to be the voice of the people who elected you.”
Whitmer was asked why protestors have been allowed to enter with guns in the first place. She noted that it is currently legal in the state to do so.
See Whitmer’s remarks below:
She also shared her opinion of the protests, noting that they could be politically-driven, as there is speculation she could be one of the women being considered as former Vice President Joe Biden’s running mate.
“These protests were more like political rallies, and then you’ve got the partisan propaganda,’ Whitmer also told the publication. “You saw the signs that people made. This was a political statement because Michigan is an important state and the 2020 presidential election is looming.”
The armed protests and ban discussions have led to some political divide among Michigan lawmakers. While some Republicans have sided with Democratic lawmakers arguing firearms are not necessary for demonstrations, other Republicans have expressed no interest in enforcing such a ban, according to Detroit Free Press.
John Truscott, the vice-chairman of the Michigan State Capitol Commission which oversees the building, has also weighed in with his opinion on the discussions about a possible ban.
Although Truscott, a Republican, describes himself as a Second Amendment advocate, he insists he is not in favor of guns inside the building.
“We do not like seeing guns brought into the building — loaded guns — and I’m a Second Amendment advocate,” Truscott said.
As of Thursday morning, there are more than 45,000 coronavirus cases in the state of Michigan.