Snyder Vetos Bill That Would Allow Guns In Schools, Churches, Hospitals

By: Lindsay Veremis Email
By: Lindsay Veremis Email

Concealed weapons will not be allowed in Michigan schools, churches and hospitals. Governor Rick Snyder vetoed the controversial bill Tuesday afternoon, drawing high praise from some and harsh words from others.

Snyder says he believes public places, like schools and churches, should have a clear legal authority to ban firearms on their property if they see fit.

As written, only private venues and universities with constitutional autonomy had that right, on their private property.

Religious leaders are praising Snyder's decision. Pastors from all over the state were in Lansing Tuesday pushing for a veto.

They call the legislation a step toward safer communties, while advocates for gun rights say the veto does the opposite.

"We think it will make our community safer, our churches safer and provide a sense of security for our children and our whole community," Ben Sandin, a pastor with King of Kings Lutheran Church said.

"The bill would have given Michiganders a better opportunity to defend themselves and their families, which is something that we're all looking to do in times that local governments are cutting police forces," Phillip Hofmeister, with Michigan Open Carry countered.

While the bill may be aimed at preventing violence, like the Newtown shooting, Snyder says Michigan might be better served reviewing mental health needs.

"Seeing how can we provide better services and better consistent services so we can identify where issues really are and help people," he said.

Hofmeister argues the Connecticut tragedy is proof concealed weapons are needed, as protection. He says gun-free zones have become mass killing-zones.

"If you look at every mass killing that's happened in the last decade, decade-and-a-half, all of them with the exception of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting was in one of these pistol free zones, is that a coincidence?" Hofmeister said.

While Snyder vetoed Senate Bill 59, he signed two others involving guns. They streamline the process for buying a handgun. Gun-buyers can now get a permit at any law enforcement agency, not just your local police or sheriff's department and they have 30 days, instead of 10, to take that permit and make a purchase.


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