Michigan Republicans — December 1, 2012 at 8:01 am

Michigan Republicans move to make guns easier to get, permit concealed weapons in churches, schools, bars, & stadiums


What could go wrong???

Michigan Republicans are moving forward with a couple of bills that will make it easier to get handguns in our state and to ease restrictions on where concealed weapons may be carried.

Apparently, one of Michigan’s biggest problems is that it’s just too damned inconvenient to get a gun and who wouldn’t want concealed weapons in churches, schools, bars, and stadiums?

The first of these bills is House Bill 5225. This bill was, ironically, passed out of the Judiciary Committee with a recommendation for immediate effect on September 11th. According the Senate Floor Summary, this bill has the following elements:

House Bill 5225 would repeal Section 2 of the handgun licensure law, which generally prohibits a person from purchasing, carrying, possessing, or transporting a pistol in Michigan without first having obtained a license for the pistol. Section 2 also outlines the terms of eligibility for a license and the process for buyers and sellers to comply with licensure requirements, including record-keeping and reporting requirements.

The bill also would repeal the following sections of the handgun licensure law:

  • Section 2a, which exempts individuals licensed to carry a concealed pistol and federally licensed firearms dealers from the requirement to obtain a license under Section 2.
  • Sections 9a and 9b, which require the Michigan Department of State police (MSP) to approve, print, and distribute to licensing entities a pamphlet on basic pistol safety; and Section 9c, which requires licensing entities to give the pamphlet free of charge to each person who requests a copy.
  • Section 11, which requires the MSP to provide a system for the expeditious review of the criminal histories of individuals who purchase firearms.
  • Section 12, which identifies individuals and entities that are exempt from the licensure requirements under Section 2.
  • Section 12b, which provides that Section 2 does not apply to a signaling device that is approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Not only that, it would actually require that the Michigan State Police Director, the sheriff of each county, and the commissioner or chief of police of each city, village, and township police department would have to destroy all records held by or under the control of that law enforcement agency that were received, compiled, or retained under Section 2, 2a, or 11 within six months.

The bill is being fought by a group called Mayors Against Illegal Guns. They had some choice words to say about the bill which, fortunately, Governor Snyder says he will not sign:

A coalition of mayors, police chiefs and other Michiganders today applauded Governor Rick Snyder for rejecting a bill that would have sharply undercut a program that bars criminals, the mentally ill and other dangerous people from buying handguns.

The governor announced yesterday that he would not sign HB 5225, which would have repealed the Michigan “purchase permit” law that now requires potential gun buyers to pass a background check and a basic firearm safety test before buying a handgun.

The bill would have effectively exempted 48% of Michigan’s annual handgun sales – those conducted by unlicensed “private” sellers at gun shows or over the Internet – from a background check. If the measure had passed, only federally licensed firearms dealers would still be required to conduct checks.

The National Rifle Association lobbied aggressively to repeal the permitting system and the accompanying background check and training requirements.

“I want to thank Governor Snyder for taking a stand to keep guns out of criminal hands,” said Flint Mayor Dayne Walling. “HB 5225 would endanger police officers and make it more difficult to keep our communities safe.”

Law enforcement leaders say that in 2011, the system blocked just under 2,600 prohibited gun buyers from obtaining permits. Several police chiefs warned legislators that the bill would make unregulated gun sellers a magnet for dangerous people who want to avoid a background check.

Read more HERE including statements from law enforcement officials.

A panel discussion of this outrageous legislation is taking place on Monday, December 3rd in Lansing. Michigan mayors, law enforcement officials and domestic violence prevention advocates will discuss HB 5225 and threats to public safety posed by the bill’s elimination of the state’s handgun purchase permits and background checks for private handgun sales.

State Rep. Joan Bauer will give opening remarks followed by a panel that includes

  • Sgt. Christopher Hawkins, Michigan State Police
  • Interim Chief Chester Logan, Detroit Police Department
  • Mayor Dayne Walling, Flint Mayor, member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns
  • Kathy Hagenian, Executive Policy Director, Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence
  • Mark Glaze, Director, Mayors Against Illegal Guns (Moderator)

The panel takes place Monday, December 3, from 1 to 2 PM in Room 426 of the State Capitol Building and lunch will be provided.

The second bill is Senate Bill 59 which may be voted on before the end of the current lame duck session. This bill will allow the carrying of concealed weapons in schools, churches, bars, daycares, college dorms, hospitals and stadiums. If made into law, this bill would allow those with a concealed pistol license to carry a concealed pistol in no-carry zones if they complete an additional course.

An EPIC/MRA poll in April showed that an astonishing 72% of Michiganders are against this bill. That, of course, won’t stop Michigan Republicans from moving forward with it because freedom. And the NRA.

With the huge issues of crumbling infrastructure, failing urban centers and schools and a sluggish economy, it boggles the mind that Republicans are moving forward with bills that will serve to make our state an even more dangerous and violent place to live. This may actually be a case where Republican-passed laws actually get someone killed.