Gun Control, Rick Snyder — January 15, 2015 at 2:20 pm

Gov. Rick Snyder does the right thing twice in one day using his veto pen


Earlier this month I wrote about a truly horrible piece of legislation passed by Michigan Republicans that would have compelled county clerks to issue concealed weapons permits to stalkers & spouse abusers. Today, Gov. Rick Snyder used his veto pen to send it to the rubbish bin of history where it belongs:

Gov. Rick Snyder today vetoed a controv bill that pitted gun rights groups against advocates for victims of domestic violence.

Snyder’s veto of Senate Bill 789 was one of several significant bill signings and vetoes he announced today, with time running out for him to either sign or veto many of the bills passed during the lame-duck legislative session in December.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, would have eliminated county gun boards and made Michigan a true “shall-issue” state for concealed weapons permits.

Among the controversial provisions of SB 789 was one — first highlighted by the Free Press last week — that said concealed weapons permits must be issued, even to persons subject to personal protection orders for domestic violence or stalking, provided they would otherwise be eligible for a permit and a ban on obtaining a gun is not a condition of their personal protection orders.

In another somewhat surprising move, Gov. Snyder also vetoed a bill that would have eliminated biodiversity as a criterion for managing state lands:

Gov. Rick Snyder on Thursday vetoed legislation that would have prevented the Michigan Department of Natural Resources from making land use decisions based on biodiversity considerations.

“Biodiversity is essential to how our world-class natural resources are managed,” Snyder said in a statement announcing the veto of Senate Bill 78. “While there are opportunities to look into our forest management practices, reducing biodiversity authority will only cause confusion and hurt our forests.”

Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, introduced the measure. He said it stemmed from a program the DNR had proposed that included “biodiversity stewardship areas” that would have infringed on the rights of private landowners.

“I’m convinced if the public understood what the department was doing there would be an outcry,” Casperson said.

He said professors who testified against the bill painted the picture with a one-sided brush.

As I reported in December Sen. Casperson had a major conflict of interest in introducing this legislation:

As it turns out, Casperson himself has a vested interest in making sure the logging industry flourishes. His family owns Casperson and Son Trucking, a log-hauling operation that’s been around for nearly three decades and which he himself owned and operated.

In other words, Casperson’s rejection of science isn’t for the economic benefit of ALL of Michigan’s residents, it’s for the economic benefit of himself and his family. To say that he has a conflict of interest in this situation is an understatement. He is, plainly put, a corporatist who has gotten into the state legislature in order to promote his own personal financial interests.

Kudos to Gov. Snyder for these two vetoes. I am thrilled to give credit where credit is due and he did the right thing in both instances.

[Caricature by DonkeyHotey from photos by Anne C. Savage for Eclectablog]