Numerous bills looking to change Michigan gun laws have recently popped up in Lansing, where the House Republicans said one of their priorities for the 2017-18 session was “defending second amendment rights.”
Speaker of the House, Republican Representative Tom Leonard said, “I always go back to Article 1, Section 6 of the state constitution. And there is no doubt that Michigan citizens have a right, constitutionally, to keep and bear arms for the protection of themselves and others.”
Concealed Carry Age Modification
Senate Bill 366 could change the legal age for getting a Concealed Pistol License (CPL) from 21 to 18, allowing citizens from the ages of 18-20 to get a provisional license to carry.
Bill author Senator Wayne Schmidt of Traverse City said people over the age of 18 can handle firearms in both the military and police training. “This is a responsible bill that will require 18- to 20-year-olds to abide by the current training and background requirements for obtaining a Concealed Pistol License.”
Jerry Waldon, of Physicians Preventing Gun Violence, said allowing younger adults to carry concealed weapons was “craziness.”
SB 366 was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and is now pending before the full Senate.
More than one bill are pending in the House Judiciary Committee to allow Michigan citizens to carry concealed weapons without a permit. Read more about this bill package.
One sponsor, Representative Michele Hoitenga, said, “It is currently legal in the state of Michigan for a law-abiding person to openly carry a firearm on their person without any training classes, fees, or state bureaucracy.” She added that a coat added to the wardrobe thus becomes illegal.
Critics question whether the bills would allow those who are banned from a CPL to carry concealed anyway. This bill package is still in the House Judiciary Committee.
Eliminating Handgun Registration
House Bill 4554 by Representative Lee Chatfield would remove the requirement that legal gun owners register their handguns. Michigan is one of only 6 state to require registration.
“Criminals don’t register handguns they misuse for wrong, so what we end up with is a list that intrudes on the civil liberties of honest gun owners,” Chatfield said.
HB 4554 is pending at the Judiciary Committee in the House.
Prohibiting Carry in Police Stations
Democratic Representative Abdullah Hammoud introduced House Bill 4560 to prohibit one from carrying weapons into a police station unless they are there to relinquish the firearm. This bill stems from an incident in Dearborn where armed and masked men walked into a police station.
“For me this is an issue, it’s a public safety bill,” Hammoud said. His bill is currently with the House Judiciary Committee.
Allowing Carry in More Places
House Bill 4565 sponsored by Representative Gary Glenn would eliminate current bans restricting firearms carry in places like banks, churches, movie theaters, sports arenas, days care locations, and hospitals.
Glenn, whose bill is in the House Judiciary Committee, says, “I believe the more law-abiding American citizens who are armed and able to defend themselves, their families, their property, and their businesses, the better.”
The Senator also supports the bill package to eliminate concealed carry licenses.
Banning Local Ordinances
Representative Gary Howell introduced House Bill 4616 to the House Local Government Committee stating that any local ordinances regarding gun control would have 60 days to comply with state laws. In the event this doesn’t happen, a citizen could bring legal action in circuit courts or with the Attorney General.
Local officials enacting or enforcing ordinances that don’t comply with state law could be fined up to $7,500.
Penalties for Allowing Access by Minors
Senate Bill 293 by Senator Rebekah Warren would establish misdemeanor or felony charges to persons leaving firearms accessible to minors. This bill would mandate that firearms are kept in a locked container, in a location “that a reasonable person would believe it was secure”, or lock the handgun.
Increasing Carry Zones for Personal Protection Order Holders
Representative Tim Kelly proposes House Bill 4268, allowing individuals holding Personal Protection Orders to carry concealed in normally restricted locations. It’s currently in the House Judiciary Committee.