OMG! A Gun! A State Senator with a Gun! Who Shows It To People! OMG!

Michigan State Senator Arlan Meekhof “made a dramatic show this week as he pulled back his coat to reveal his gun during a Senate committee meeting,” reports. Dramatic perhaps. Illegal? No. Michigan is an open carry state. Although Michigan has enough firearms laws for all 50 states, the state house is not included in 28.425o (bottom of page 29) “Premises on which carrying concealed weapon prohibited.” Nor is the Lansing landmark listed on the Michigan State Police’s website’s guide to “Pistol Free Areas.” Still, it seems that Senator Meekhof’s decision to “flash”—not brandish—his penis-pointing pistol was worthy of a headline. If only he’d done it for the right reason . . .

Meekhof was lobbying for a bill that would allow people with concealed weapons permits to carry handguns in more public places if they get additional training. [ED: click here for Senate Bill 59]

Laws allow gun permit holders to carry their weapons in “pistol-free” zones, but not if they are concealed — as the senator demonstrated with his jacket.

“I was pointing out absurdity by being absurd,” said Meekhof, R-West Olive.

An absurd politician? How absurd! Yes, yes, but is the bill absurd?

The bill wouldn’t eliminate so-called “no carry” or “pistol-free” zones such as schools, stadiums and churches. But licensed carriers who get an additional nine hours of training beyond what already is required by state law could get exemptions that would allow them to carry guns in those zones.

“Everyone can open carry, except for in designated pistol free zones. However, those with a concealed weapon permit are allowed to open carry in a pistol free zone, but not concealed carry. The level two CPL license that this legislation would create would also allow people to carry concealed in a pistol free zone. It creates a new level but it does not in any way diminish the rights of anyone else,” Meekhof said in an online posting.

Oh great. So some Great Lake Residents with concealed carry permits—I prefer the term “license” but that’s the way they roll in Michigan—would be more equal than others in some places but not others. Just as the citizens who don’t take the state-mandated training needed to exercise their Second Amendment right to carry a concealed weapon are less equal than the citizens who do and the criminals who don’t.

Needless to say, Michigan’s multi-tiered misegos is based on existing elitism.

Some types of permit holders, such as retired police officers, already can get exemptions that allow them to have a concealed weapon in those zones.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Mike Green of Mayville, said many multiple-victim shootings occur in gun-free zones by gunmen who have the weapons illegally. Green said “good, honest, law-abiding citizens” ought to have the ability to protect themselves.

And the government ought not to make it difficult for them to do so, as dictated by the Constitution of the United States.


  1. avatar Tom says:

    The bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Mike Green of Mayville, said many multiple-victim shootings occur in gun-free zones by gunmen who have the weapons illegally.

    Surely not! Gun Free Zones are the lands of Unicorns. Leprechans, and Rainbows where all is wonderful! The First Law Of Disney: Wishing makes it all come true!

    You know back in the old days ( Vietnam era), nobody cared if you had a long gun in school. One of my History Teachers brought a fully automatic AR-15 or M-16 to class to demonstrate it one day. Another History teacher brought all sorts of Civil War weapons to class and fired them off without lead rounds. Shop classes had all sorts of guns awaiting repairs. Of course the parking lots had cars and trucks with rifles and shotguns in them. Yeah, we had a Rifle Team with kids transporting their target rifles about the school.
    Different World.

  2. avatar Matt Gregg says:

    I’d love to see less restrictions on concealed carry in general but even with the added training BS this is a step in the right direction.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      No, I’m sorry, this is not a step in the right direction. It just makes everything more complicated. Think about the practicality of it. I carry my XD(M) concealed in an IWB Supertuck. If I was one of the “specially licensed” people who could now carry, but only open carry, in the pistol free zone, that means if I wanted to exercise my privilege (and it’s a privilege at this point, because I’m a more equal pig by virtue of taking an extra class) to open carry in that zone, I’d have to have a whole different holster. So I go about my business of the day carrying concealed as normal, but when my business takes me to a “pistol free zone,” I have to unholster my weapon, (possibly) remove my IWB holster, put on an OWB holster, and reholster my weapon. When I leave the pistol free zone, as the car guides say, reassembly is the reverse. What a colossal pain in the ass.

      1. avatar CarlosT says:

        Does open carry necessarily imply OWB? In my mind it doesn’t. It just means the gun isn’t concealed.

        I have a hybrid IWB style holster and I could go from concealed carry to open carry by tucking in my shirt and taking my jacket off, no holster change required.

      2. avatar Matt Gregg says:

        Uh I don’t think you get it, currently the law allows people with carry permits can open carry in the “pistol free zones”. This law would allow people with permits to take that additional training and then carry concealed in the aforementioned “pistol free zones”. It would get rid of the problem you brought up which already exists.

        1. avatar Matt in FL says:

          OK, you’re right. So instead of going from stupid law to asinine law, I suppose we’re improving the situation. It’s asinine now, and it’s only going to be stupid when they’re done.

          Thanks for the clarification, though. After I read your comment, I went back and looked, and sure enough, it’s like you say. Not sure how I missed that the first time.

  3. avatar Mike in NC says:

    When laws are so poorly written and restrictive of a Constitutional right that it becomes necessary to define exempt classes, the correct solution would be to repeal the law, or at the very least rewrite it to be less restrictive, rather than adding more members to the exempt classes.

    1. avatar James says:

      I have to agree to that.

      Why the hell are those restricted zones restricted in the first place? They’re full of ambiguity, too.

      1. Schools or school property but may carry while in a vehicle on school property while dropping off or picking up if a parent or legal guardian
      My wife is a teacher. What if I’m picking her up from or dropping her off at work? Maybe we’re having lunch – what then?

      4. A tavern where the primary source of income is the sale of alcoholic liquor by the glass consumed on the premises
      How in the hell am I supposed to know what a business’s primary source of income is? Plenty of chain restaurants (think Applebees or Ruby Tuesday’s) have bars inside, complete with regulars that plant their asses there every day to watch sports and drool on waitresses. Given the prices of, and taxes applied to, liquor and beer in this day and age, and the low profit margin in selling prepared food (former chef here, with 13+ years in the food service industry), it could be argued that every place that has a bar in it makes more money from selling booze than from their food.

      6. An entertainment facility that the individual knows or should know has a seating capacity of 2,500 or more
      Again, how is someone supposed to know that, or even guess at it? Movie theaters, for example, look like they seat between three and four hundred people in each individual cinema. What about those multiplexes that have six, eight, or a dozen or more screens? What is the seating capacity then? Do you go by individual cinemas, or overall seating at the entire complex? Why in the hell is seating capacity even an issue?

      Those restrictions are bad restrictions. They’re largely pointless, poorly worded, and seem to have no basis in logic, reason, practicality or reality.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        4. A tavern where the primary source of income is the sale of alcoholic liquor by the glass consumed on the premises
        How in the hell am I supposed to know what a business’s primary source of income is? Plenty of chain restaurants (think Applebees or Ruby Tuesday’s) have bars inside, complete with regulars that plant their asses there every day to watch sports and drool on waitresses.

        We have a similar law in Florida: Any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, which portion of the establishment is primarily devoted to such purpose; Fla. Stat. § 790.06(12)(a)12.

        The “accepted knowledge,” which I’ve researched quite extensively since I have a friend who is a waitress at Chili’s and I like to visit her there, is that the dining room is definitely OK, and even the tables in the bar area are probably OK, but sitting at the bar is definitely not OK. No one knows for sure, because to get an interpretation on the law there has to be a test case, and there hasn’t been one yet. As far as the “probably” goes, concealed means concealed; don’t be the test case.

        1. avatar James says:

          I know MI law says anything higher than .00% BAC is grounds for arrest, confiscation of your weapon, and suspension/revocation of a CHL.

          Again, and especially given the above, I fail to see why a person that is completely and undeniably sober (.00% BAC) is restricted from entering a particular business, or sitting in particular segments of a particular business.

          It makes no sense. It is bad law, and should be repealed.

  4. avatar Texas Colt carry says:

    Matt in FL has a great point, one that I would like to add to. With the requirement of holster changes forces you to handle your weapon more also increases the chances of a ND that can cause injury to oneself and others.

    Bad law with good intentions. The best choice is just make Gun Free Zones be known as Victim Rich Zones and get rid of them.

    1. avatar Longtime Lurker says:

      Well put.

  5. avatar Tim says:

    The cpl class I just took says bar/restaurants are OK to concealed carry in. Establishments that are obviously ‘bars or pubs, etc’ are not o.k.. This legislation was vetoed by Gov. Snyder right after s.h. because he believed that business owners had the right to establish gun free zones in their own businesses. As written the law did not recognize that right. While I was sad to see the bill fail, I agree with his reasons and he was very open with that logic before the bill passed through the legislature. I don’t like the added complication, but his logic is sound. I hope the errors are corrected and this passes again.

    As far as the additional training is concerned, I dont support that from an ideogical point of view but the skills test required to obtain the cpl was decidedly lax. I wouldn’t trust 95% of the participants in my class to handle themselves in any dgu let alone a dgu in a place like a school or other crowded facility. The additional training req has much tighter requirements for accuracy and other higher thought processes besides ‘hit a Target most of the time and don’t shoot my own finger off’ I don’t view that as a bad thing. I definately saw a few people who struggled with both of those two objectives.

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