States remain split on guns in capitols after armed protests

States remain split on guns in capitols after armed protests

In this May 20, 2020, file photo, a protester with a gun and others stand outside the Montana State Capitol in Helena, Mont. In the past year, insurrectionists have breached the U.S. Capitol and protesters have forced their way into statehouses around the country. For the first time on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, anyone with a concealed carry permit is allowed to bring a concealed firearm under the copper dome of the Montana statehouse, fulfilling a longtime hope of Republicans who now control both the executive and legislative branches of government. HELENA, Mont. — In the past year, insurrectionists have breached the U.S. Capitol and armed protesters have forced their way into statehouses around the country. But the question of whether guns should be allowed in capitol buildings remains political, and states are going in opposite directions. In Montana, a new state law signed Thursday allows anyone with a permit to bring a concealed firearm into the statehouse, reversing a decades-long policy banning guns inside the Capitol and fulfilling a longtime hope of Republicans who took control of the governor’s mansion as well as the Legislature this year. GOP-dominated Utah passed a law this month allowing people to carry concealed weapons into its Capitol building and elsewhere in the state without a permit. Guns are allowed in statehouses in some form in 21 U.S. states, according to a review by The Associated Press. Eight states allow only concealed firearms inside their capitols, while two states allow only open carry. […]

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