There’s a messed-up loophole in Michigan’s gun laws that makes it legal to open-carry a firearm without the need for training or a permit. If you carry a concealed weapon, training and a permit are required by law. Republicans have decided now is the time to correct this discrepancy but their approach is to make it worse.
A House panel today approved a controversial package of bills that would allow Michigan residents to carry concealed weapons without obtaining permits or receiving training.
The four bills passed in 6-4 votes. They now move to the full House and would require Senate approval and Gov. Rick Snyder’s signature to become law.
A large part of the rationale for repealing the permit and safety-training requirement is that under current Michigan law, law-abiding citizens can carry a firearm openly without a permit, fees or a training requirement. Proponents of the change called the permit requirement a money grab that essentially taxed people for putting jackets over their guns. […]
The bills that received committee approval Tuesday, House Bills 4416 to 4419, would:
- Allow anyone to carry a concealed pistol without having to get a permit or training, except for people who are prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a firearm because of certain criminal convictions.
- Remove carrying a firearm — whether concealed or not — from laws that prohibit carrying dangerous weapons.
- Repeal a provision that allows security guards to only carry a concealed weapon when they’re on duty.
According to The Detroit News, Democrats tried in vain to offer an amendment that would have “stopped people who are currently barred from obtaining a concealed pistol license from carrying a pistol without a permit” but Republicans on the committee were having none of it.
So, instead of fixing the law to require all weapon carriers to get training and a permit, Republicans want to remove the requirements for everyone and make it easier than ever before to carry a gun, concealed or otherwise. That includes violent criminals, stalkers, and host of others who shouldn’t be anywhere near a gun.
In typical Republican form, they are calling the current law a “coat tax” because only those carrying a concealed weapon are required to pay the fee for a class and purchase a permit. This loophole is ridiculous, of course. But fixing it by doing away with the requirement for everyone who carries a gun is worse than ridiculous; it’s dangerous. And calling it a “coat tax” is insulting to every thinking person with two brain cells to bang together.
In a time when gun violence results in roughly 12,000 homicides per year, it’s unconscionable for Republicans to move forward with this legislation. Be sure to contact your state House Representative and Senator and let them know that this will make us all less safe. The safety of our citizens is more important that the so-called “freedom” of being able to carry a gun with no training and without a permit. Hell, you can’t sell hotdogs or drive a car without a permit. Why should carrying a deadly weapon be any different?
[CC photo of Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd’s “Non-Violence” sculpture: François Polito | Wikimedia Commons]