Prospective Libertarian Party presidential candidate Rep. Justin Amash (L-MI) has condemned anti-lockdown protesters for “bearing weapons” during their protest at the Michigan state capitol, in a Sunday interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.
“When we protest, we have to do it in a way that is appropriate,” Amash said. “I think it’s a terrible idea to come into the Capitol with weapons, bearing weapons, knowing that it might be perceived as some form of intimidation towards legislators – I denounce those things.”
Open carry is legal in the state of Michigan, including on State Capitol premises. Consequently, the protesters were well within their rights to carry firearms during their demonstration.
The anti-lockdown protests in Michigan were partly organized by the Michigan United for Liberty and the Libertarian Party of Michigan, making Amash’s denunciation quite strange, given his decision to open an exploratory committee for a presidential run with the Libertarian Party.
Amash has previously condemned the national anti-lockdown protests for failing to follow “guidance on social distancing”.
“I don’t sympathize with the way they did it. I don’t think it’s wise to ignore guidance on social distancing. I think that a lot of them are wrong about their belief that there’s no risk at all,” Amash said.
On the other hand, President Donald Trump has stood very strongly behind the Michigan protesters, describing them as “very good people”, and pressuring Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) to “make a deal” with them to ease lockdown restrictions.