From Michigan Open Carry:
The Good – SB 584 seeks to create a shall issue exemption to the concealed pistol free zones listed in MCL 28.425o (and on the back of every CPL) for anyone who takes an additional 8 hours of training, or who is a certified instructor. While this is not the complete elimination of the section that we would like to see, it alone is a step in the right direction. This is what the bill looked like before the gun-control was added by the committee.
The Bad – One of the changes subbed into the bill was a ban on open carry in ALL of the listed places in the section, even for those with the newly proposed exemption above. The only way someone would be able to carry openly in any of these places is if they own the property, they are hired security, or if they have express written permission from the owner. That’s it. Infractions start off with a $500 civil infraction and a 6 month license suspension, and go all the way up to a felony. Yes, a felony.
We understand there is an ongoing debate about who should be able to carry a firearm in schools and how they should be able to carry. We have always said that we are happy to have this debate and consider the merits of proposed changes; however, we see no reason at all for the State to prohibit someone from carrying in the manner that is most comfortable for them in the rest of the places, especially when they are somewhere that is privately owned.
An analogy of these changes goes as follows – they are trying to take away your blue shirt, and then give you a red shirt back, but only after you jump through more hoops, pay more fees, and get more permission first.
The Committee also added a provision making it clear that universities are authorized to create their own rules, thereby completely undermining the ongoing pro-gun litigation of Joshua Wade v. University of Michigan, as well as a provision adding airport authority property to the list of restricted zones.
The Ugly – Currently, every one of the nearly 620,000 CPL holders in this state, as well as any license holders from other states, can carry in the zones listed in MCL 28.425o, though most of us have to carry openly. Should this legislation pass as is, nearly all of us would lose ANY ability to carry at all in these places until we first go through more training, pay more fees, and once again get permission to exercise our rights, and that’s only for Michigan residents.
Those from other states would have no option available to them left. Because of this, we firmly believe that SB 584 would REDUCE the number of people able to defend themselves in these zones, not increase it. This is the exact opposite of what any gun rights organization should be working for.
Going Forward – We are currently working with other state and national organizations, such as NRA and NAGR, to fix this bill in the House. We very much support scaling back these zones, commonly referred to as “mass murder empowerment zones”, but we are not willing to do so at any price.
That said, this bill, as passed by the Senate, doesn’t even scale back the list, it makes it longer and stricter, making opposing these changes an easy decision for us.
You can read the version passed today by the Senate HERE:
Michigan Open Carry, Inc.