States split on guns in capitol buildings

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.

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February 19, 2021 - 12:29 PM

Armed to the teeth, these young men are protesting Michigan Gov. Meg Whitmer’s mandatory closures amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Michigan is experiencing an average 119 deaths per day due to the pandemic. It has reported 41,379 positive cases, and almost 4,000 deaths as of Friday. Each day, an average 980 positive cases are being reported. Photo by Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images/TNS

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.

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