Posted October 08, 2018 06:08:50 A new bill to ban concealed carry in Michigan is a major setback for communities, and for gun owners, advocates say.
The law, introduced by Democratic Gov.
Rick Snyder on Wednesday, is one of several recent measures that have been approved by the Legislature to address gun violence in the state.
The law requires people who want to carry concealed to get a permit from a state agency.
That’s one of many provisions in a series of new bills Snyder signed in recent weeks to address the nation’s deadliest mass shooting in decades.
Snyder has said the legislation was not meant to be an “assault weapon ban,” or a ban on any type of weapon.
Supporters of the bill said it would allow for concealed carry and other gun owners to carry weapons on school grounds and at places of business, and allow for safe storage of firearms.
The legislation also would allow guns in schools, but not in any classrooms, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.
The Michigan Senate approved the legislation on Thursday.
Gun rights advocates, however, argue that the law is unconstitutional and the bill is dangerously restrictive.
They say it would prevent many people from carrying weapons on public school campuses, in churches and in homes.
The bill also would require people who do want to obtain concealed carry permits from a local, state or federal agency to apply for them online.
Gun rights activists say the legislation will force some communities to become “gun-free zones.”
The bill was initially sponsored by Republican state Sen. Mike Kowall, a Wayne County Republican who previously led the Michigan chapter of the National Rifle Association.
He said he voted against the bill because he was concerned about gun violence and the safety of people in his community.
Kowall has also introduced a bill to bar local governments from passing gun-control ordinances that conflict with the wishes of the governor.
On Thursday, the Michigan Senate unanimously approved a companion bill that would prohibit gun owners from having concealed carry privileges on school property.
The House voted 98-0 on Thursday to pass the bill, according the Detroit Free Press.
“The people who are using this bill are not thinking about gun owners.
They’re thinking about their children,” said Rep. Greg Stumbo, a Republican from Kalamazoo County who introduced the legislation.
“It’s an attempt to make it hard for gun owner rights.”
Kowalas bill would also bar localities from passing any laws that restrict the carrying of guns in certain areas, including stadiums, sports stadiums, school districts and churches.
“These are communities that have some of the most active gun violence,” said Stumbo.
“They have some very dangerous places in their communities, so I think the Legislature should do its job and get this right.”
Rep. Dave Yost, a Democrat from Kalawana County, who sponsored the bill that was approved Thursday, said the bill would be a blow to gun rights in his county, where he said gun owners are in a unique position to protect themselves.
“When you look at the number of people that have committed suicide, and the number that have died in the last couple of years, you know, the number is a lot higher in Kalamazoos county than it is anywhere else in Michigan,” Yost said.
“And yet, the Legislature seems to be willing to throw away a lot of the gun rights that are guaranteed to us as citizens.”
He added that there are a lot more guns on the streets of Kalamazos than in places like Cleveland, and it is very difficult to track where those guns end up.
Yost said he was pleased that a number of the amendments approved Thursday were related to the Second Amendment.
He noted that the amendment banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines was not included.
“That’s a really important part of what we’re fighting against, the fact that this bill does not protect the right to bear arms,” Yos said.
Another amendment approved Thursday that would bar state and local governments and private businesses from enacting gun safety measures that conflict or are inconsistent with the governor’s gun safety policies was supported by Rep. Scott Waguespack, a Kalamazo County Republican.
The amendment says that it is not a federal law that bars municipalities from enactING gun safety laws, and that if a municipality does enact such a law, it must comply with the local law.
It also says that the legislature does not have authority to enact laws that conflict the governors gun safety orders.
The bill passed the Senate on a 21-18 vote Thursday, but will have to be signed by Snyder to become law.