US statehouses remain steadfastly divided along party lines on whether firearms should be allowed in capitol buildings — even after a year that has seen armed insurrectionists breaching the US Capitol and protesters storming seats of government around the country.
Guns are currently allowed in 21 US state capitol buildings, including eight states permitting concealed firearms and two allowing open carry.
At least 11 states do not have metal detectors at the entrance to their statehouses.
As recently as Thursday, lawmakers in Montana approved a new bill that reverses a decades-long ban on weapons inside the Helena statehouse.
The bill, allowing anyone with a permit to carry a gun, was spearheaded by Republicans who took control of all branches of government this year.
Similarly, the GOP-led Utah legislature approved a measure earlier this month that would allow guns to be carried in the Salt Lake City Capitol building, and around the state without a permit.
Protesters carry guns outside