The Michigan Senate voted to approve the state’s Senate Bills 584-586, which will allow some gun owners to carry their concealed weapon in previously named gun-free zones such as schools, churches, and daycares around the state.
Once in effect, the new law will allow these gun owners to seek permission to concealed carry if they undergo additional training. To achieve this exemption, a current or prospective CPL holder will be required to either be a certified firearms instructor, or carry a CPL and have an additional eight hours of specific training above and beyond that required to obtain their original permit.
Senator Meekof, who urged his colleagues to vote along with himself to pass the bill, appealed to the Senate stating, “I truly believe that law-abiding, licensed citizens should be able to exercise their right and responsibility.”
What Does This mean for Michigan Gun Owners?
The bill was met with a resounding response from Michigan gun holders, as it settles the longstanding loophole law that legally allowed open carry in these normally restricted zones instead of concealed carry, which to many seemed less than ideal.
The new law will now allow concealed carry only in these areas by those who have had the additional training, and are equipped to have weapons in areas where children will likely be. Additionally, this bill will have Michigan join one six other states including Alambama, New Hampshire, Oregon, Alaska, Utah, and Rhode Island who allow concealed carry in these areas.
With those bent on violence targeting schools, churches, and other places where they know they can count on encountering an unarmed population the need for protection is vital. It appears that these areas prone to violence are targeted due to their exposed nature and depending on the distance to local law enforcement, or the amount of law enforcement in the area, the response time can be long enough for significant damage to be done.
Many citizens now feel that these formerly gun-free areas will now have the opportunity to be protected by those who are adequately trained to do so and in effect reduce the appeal of these areas as targets.
Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof reiterated this point saying, “well-trained gun owners carrying concealed weapons in these areas could serve as a deterrent when others are seeking to harm.”
It was also noted during the session that the previous law allowing open carry would cause panic and lead to unnecessary lockdowns since staff would be unsure if the carry meant harm.
Resistance and The Future
While the bill passed quickly through the Michigan Senate, gun control enthusiasts tried to add amendments to the bill that would limit gun owners in a number of other ways, including banning a variety of people from being able to obtain a CPL and allowing private entities to begin to ban guns on their property. All the amendments failed to get traction.
These pieces of legislation now be poised to go through the Michigan State House, before arriving at the desk of Governor Snyder to be signed into law. Snyder has vetoed previous bills similar to this one, but advocates have hope the new bills will continue their quick journey through the rest of legislative process.
With continuing legislation being passed in favor of the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, gun owner’s will be able to show the naysayers that they intend to be heard and that their rights are just as important to protect as any other rights in this country. Legislation to close these loopholes that are often confusing and contradicting is a crucial step to protecting these rights.
~ Firearm Daily