States remain split on guns in capitols after armed protests

States remain split on guns in capitols after armed protests

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — 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. Montana and Utah are two of at least 13 states that do not have metal detectors at the entrance to their capitols. The statehouses are open to the public even as many have closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Several other states, though, are moving to restrict guns inside their capitols. In Michigan, where armed protesters forced their way inside the statehouse last year and the FBI said it uncovered a plot to kidnap the governor, a state panel banned the open carry of guns after the Jan. 6 riots […]

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