LANSING, Mich. – The FBI has received information that armed protests are planned at all 50 state capitols in the days leading up to President-Elect Joe Biden’s Inauguration on Jan. 20.
“Michigan is ground zero for those who are wishing to take over state government,” said Michigan AG Dana Nessel. “I actually received an e-mail from a Facebook representative who monitors traffic that is geared toward anti-government activity and she said, ‘I’m worried about Michigan. I’m exceedingly worried.’”
On Monday, the Michigan State Capitol Commission unanimously voted to ban the open carry of guns from inside the Michigan Capitol, effective immediately. Nessel said security inside the Michigan Capitol isn’t as impactful as she’d like.
“When you say that you can only carry concealed if you have a license, we don’t have anybody to even check if you do have a license,” Nessel said. “We have no metal detectors, so if you were to bring an explosive device into the capitol, if you were to bring multiple weapons -- as long as they’re underneath a coat or a jacket, or in a bag -- no one would ever know about it.”
Under the recommendation of Michigan State Police, a six-foot tall fence around the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing will be completed Friday to guard against the possibility of violence.
The 101st Michigan Legislature began their session Wednesday under a strong police presence. Cameras captured officers circling the Capitol Building as lawmakers entered for the noon session.
Many of the members will be sworn and some already have been sworn in.
The focus of Wednesday’s session is policy as opposed to concerns about security.
New Michigan Speaker of the House Jason Wentworth held a briefing Wednesday morning along side Speaker Pro Tempore Pamela Hornberger. They spoke about some of the legislation they would like to see passed in the days to come. It has to do with ethics, how people feel about their legislative and getting more transparency into the state government.
“House Bill 4001 says that a member cannot vote on legislation if he or she or his or her family members have an interest in it that they can benefit from it,” Hornberger said. “They can’t vote on it.”
It’s a proposal that hasn’t been run through the legislative process yet.
The FBI warned law enforcement agencies of possible armed protests at state capitols of all 50 states next week.
Additionally, Michigan’s State Capitol Commission voted to ban open carry of firearms at the Capitol on Monday.
Concealed carry guns are still allowed.