January 12, 2021
“I support the Second Amendment!”
This is what Republicans running for office tell gun owners here in Michigan every election year.
But once the election is over, too often Republicans start looking to cut a deal on gun control, especially when gun owners need them the most.
Look no further than this fall when just after the election, capitol insiders reported that then-Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield was looking to pass a Capitol gun ban through the Legislature in the lame duck session.
Then just last week Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey gave his full-throated endorsement to banning lawful open carry in the Michigan State Capitol building.
His support of the ban greased the skids for the unelected and unaccountable Michigan Capitol Commission to vote unanimously to ban most law-abiding citizens from carrying in the Capitol building.
As I reported to you, the Capitol Commission just gave notice of their intentions to ban open carry last Friday.
Speaking with an expert, he informed me that in addition to superseding the authority granted to the commission in their trying to ban firearms in the Capitol, the commission likely violated the Open Meetings Act on several counts in the process.
There was no public comment allowed or even asked for.
No public posting of the proposed language of the regulation.
No opportunity for members of the public to participate electronically (though they made exception for the commission to do so).
And so by a unanimous vote, including all three Republican appointees, the commission voted to prohibit most Michigan gun owners from lawfully carrying in the Capitol, unless they have a Concealed Pistol License.
Republican appointees House Clerk Gary Randall, Senate Clerk (and former Senator) Margaret O’Brien, and professional lobbyist John Truscott all gave ringing endorsements to the gun ban.
Remember those names if they ever decide to run for political office.
Ironically, the commission rushed the regulation so quickly, that it appears they didn’t actually do a full open carry ban, which is what they set out to do in the first place.
According to one gun rights expert I spoke with, by generally prohibiting the possession of firearms in the Capitol and exempting the CPL holders who adhere to the laws associated with having a CPL, it is likely that CPL would still be able to lawfully open carry in the Capitol.
As soon as they actually release the language of the ban, we’ll have our legal team give it a review to see what our options are to get this illegal regulation thrown out by the courts.
Regardless of the result here, the blame for this whole situation falls solely on Republican legislative leadership who caved in the face of an onslaught of calls for gun control.
Sadly, it isn’t that surprising for Senate Majority Leader Shirkey to cave -- after all, he flirted with giving Democrats their hearing on “Red Flag” Gun Confiscation orders on the same day as the 2019 Second Amendment March!
The good news is that newly-elected Speaker of the House Jason Wentworth is distancing himself from the commission’s decision to ban carry in the Capitol, rightly stating that the Capitol Commission lacks the authority to do just that.
Whether or not he has the political courage to do something about it is yet to be seen.
Today was not a good day for the Second Amendment in Michigan.
With gun control advancing illegally through an unaccountable commission and the Whitmer/Nessel/Benson cabal looking to enact gun control by executive fiat, we have our work cut out for us for the next two years.
But with your help, Great Lakes Gun Rights is leading the fight against gun control and for the restoration of the right to keep and bear arms in Michigan.
Together we’ve derailed calls for “Red Flag” Gun Confiscation orders and advanced Constitutional Carry through the Michigan House of Representatives!
We have found success, and it’s only because we have remained vigilant to our calling with your faithful support.
We cannot rest for even one moment.
We must continue fighting off gun control, working to advance pro-gun legislation, and holding anti-gun politicians accountable for the next two years.
If we succeed in holding the enemies of the Second Amendment at bay for the next two years and continue to grow our movement, 2022 could be a BIG year for gun owners here in Michigan.
But we have to keep building and making sure that those who are in power understand that voting against your gun rights will come at a high political cost.