Michigan Republicans, Republican-Fail — July 13, 2011 at 8:28 am

New Michigan GOP law will let children under 10 carry loaded firearms


Just when you thought the Republicans in Michigan had completely lost their minds, this week we find they had just a bit more of their minds to lose. On July 7, both the state House and Senate passed bills that will allow children under the age of 10 to carry loaded weapons to go hunting.

I’m not making this up.

“We need to do everything we can to get the kids interested in hunting and get them into it, and maybe starting at a little younger age will help do that,” [Howell Gun Club Vice President Darin] said.

The proposed Mentored Youth Hunting Program is outlined in Senate Bill 207, sponsored by state Sen. Joe Hune, R-Hamburg Township, and House Bill 4371, both of which await Gov. Rick Snyder’s signature.

Under current law, Michigan youth must be at least age 10 to get a hunter’s license, and at least age 12 to hunt with a firearm.

Under the new law, children under the age of 10 will be allowed to carry a firearm to hunt.

Why the push to let these extremely young children to carry loaded guns? Because hunting is on the wane in Michigan.

[Department of Natural Resources spokesperson Mary] Dettloff said for every 100 adult hunters Michigan loses, it gains only 26 youth hunters.

She said parents, rather than state government, should determine when a child is ready to hunt. When directly supervised, youth hunters are statistically the safest hunters, Dettloff added.

Our biggest reason for supporting the legislation is because it’s an important recruitment tool for us to get more kids involved in hunting. It’s a struggle for us to get youth out hunting because they’re much more interested in other things (like) computers, video games,” she said.

So, the same parents that can’t seem to control their children’s use of computers and video games will now be put in charge of making sure they don’t shoot the wrong thing in the woods.

Take extra care in the woods of Michigan after this fall. You never know when a second grader is out there with a loaded gun. Hopefully they won’t go potty in their pants when they shoot.

The House bill is HERE (pdf) and the Senate bill is HERE (pdf).