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A pro-guns protest at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City in February 2020. Photo: George Frey/AFP via Getty Images

Guns are now allowed in statehouses "in some form" in 21 states, after Montana this week signed a law allowing anyone with a permit to bring a concealed firearm into the state Capitol, AP reports.

Why it matters: The issue of guns in legislatures has come to the fore in the past year, following armed protests outside state capitols and the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol.

  • While Democratic lawmakers are pushing to implement or strengthen bans on firearms, Republicans have been moving to protect the right to carry guns in statehouses.

The big picture: "Eight states allow only concealed firearms inside their capitols, while two states allow only open carry," a review by AP found.

  • Montana's gun law was signed Thursday despite the statehouse not having metal detectors. The Republican-dominated Utah legislature, which passed a law this month dropping a permit requirement for the carrying of concealed firearms in the state capitol, also doesn't have them, AP notes.
  • Montana Republican state Rep. Seth Berglee told AP the U.S. Capitol insurrection didn't change his mind about the bill he was sponsoring as people with gun permits "are extremely law-abiding" and he saw the law as a "deterrent to bad things happening."

The other side: The Michigan Capitol Commission banned the open carry of firearms inside the statehouse six days after the U.S. Capitol insurrection, though Democrats said the move didn't go far enough.

  • In Vermont, senators are weighing a plan to strengthen a ban on firearms in the statehouse to other government buildings, the Bennington Banner reports.
  • The Washington State Senate Rules Committee is considering outlawing the open carry of guns in the statehouse and near authorized demonstrations after state lawmakers passed the measure along party lines last month, per K5.

Go deeper: House votes to fine lawmakers who don't comply with metal detectors

Go deeper

6 Capitol police officers suspended for alleged roles in Jan. 6 riot

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Six Capitol police officers have been suspended with pay and 29 are under investigation for alleged conduct related to the Jan. 6 insurrection by pro-Trump rioters, a spokesperson said Thursday.

The big picture: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said earlier this month that Congress plans to establish a "9/11-type commission" to investigate the siege and report on "the preparedness and response of the United States Capitol Police and other federal, state, and local law enforcement."

Updated 4 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."