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,” hollandsentinel.com 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.