Considering parties can't agree whether or not the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was "armed," it's not a surprise the topic of allowing weapons in state capitols has sharply divided along partisan lines.

In Montana, its newly elected Republican governor signed into law a measure allowing anyone with a permit to carry a concealed firearm into the statehouse. Utah, another state dominated by the GOP, passed a measure that allows people to carry concealed weapons anywhere in the state – including its Capitol building – without a permit.

The Associated Press found 21 states allow guns into their statehouses. Eight of those only allow concealed weapons; two only allow guns carried openly.

Other states are moving for more restrictions on guns inside their capitols. The Michigan State Capitol Association for years had been reluctant to weigh in on the topic of firearms, but in the wake of last month's riots in Washington banned open-carry weapons. That did not go far enough for some lawmakers.

"What they said is that weapons, guns, bullets are still welcome in our state capitol as long as we can't see them," said Democratic state Sen. Dayna Polehanki. "It doesn't make anyone safer."

Tensions remain high in Michigan, where last year armed protesters forced their way into the statehouse and the FBI discovered a plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Vermont, however, is considering widening its current ban on guns in the statehouse to include all government buildings. A bill in the Washington state legislature banning the open carry of guns in the statehouse and near permitted demonstration is under consideration.

"The purpose of openly carrying a weapon is to chill other people's voices," said state Sen. Patty Kuderer, a Democrat who sponsored the bill. "And it works."

Oregon and Idaho last year also experienced armed crowds storming their statehouses. Those protests, and the one in Michigan, were in response to COVID-19 related restrictions put in place by the state government.

Gun rights advocates are pushing a measure to allow licensed people to carry firearms in the Oklahoma state capitol.

"A person needs to be able to protect themselves, no matter where they are," said Don Spencer, president of the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association.

Since the riots, members of the U.S. House of Representatives are now subject to screening when entering the chamber. There has been pushback from Republicans. Freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert, who campaigned on always being armed, refused to surrender her bag when it set off the alarms.

Others have refused to go through the detectors or pushed past police after alarms rang.

Guns have long been a starkly partisan issue between Democrats who want stricter controls and Republicans who claim adherence to the Second Amendment, which specifically refers to "a well regulated Militia" making it necessary for "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms."

Armed protestors try to enter the chamber of the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing during a rally organized by Michigan United for Liberty demanding the reopening of businesses Armed protestors try to enter the chamber of the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing during a rally organized by Michigan United for Liberty demanding the reopening of businesses Photo: AFP / JEFF KOWALSKY