Michigan Gun Laws May Change

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

A bill that would allow concealed weapons in daycares and theaters is already through the Senate.

Right now those places are among a list of pistol-free zones, but the new law would make it okay to have a weapon there, if you have the right training.

As a former sheriff turned lawmaker, State Senator Rick Jones (R), Eaton County, knows someone at Friday's friendly chili cook-off in Grand Ledge could be packing heat.

"People can literally carry like a cowboy in the old west, since the '20s this has been Michigan law," Sen. Jones said. "We've had numerous complaints."

Senate Bill 59 wants to change that. It proposes that concealed carry permit holders who get special training would be allowed to carry a concealed weapon in current gun-free zones, like schools and churches. Open carrying would then be prohibited in those areas.

"It'll be the citizens that have special enhanced training, and retired police officers, off-duty police officers that will be there to protect the children, or protect whatever location it is," Sen. Jones said.

That's not the way Ingham County Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth sees it though.

"Think about this: You're at a University of Michigan football game on Saturday, you've got 119,000 screaming people, and half of them are drunk," Sheriff Wriggelsworth said. "Do you really want the guy sitting next to you to have a gun?"

Sheriffs are also directly impacted by the legislation, because it would eliminate the county concealed weapons licensing board, and sheriffs would take on those duties.

"I don't have the staff," Sheriff Wriggelsworth said. "The practical problem for law enforcement either state, local, or federal is we have to clean up the mess, when the gunfire starts, who gets to clean up the mess? We do."

Supporters of the law argue it will make the licensing process less complicated.

"The prosecutor doesn't have to be there or send a representative, not the state police, and it just simply streamlines the system," Sen. Jones said.

The organization Michigan Open Carry, Inc. is in favor of the bill. A representative said it's a step forward, though a provision for open carry would be ideal.

The bill still needs to go through the House. Sen. Jones said he's confident that will happen easily, and it could be on Governor Snyder's desk within the next two weeks.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Jamie Location: Lansing on Dec 17, 2012 at 01:18 PM
    Thank you Robert. At least somebody else had the brains to catch that one. Carrying while intoxicated is a punishable offense, just like if you were to drink and drive.
  • by tmill Location: Perry on Dec 11, 2012 at 11:40 AM
    Sherrif Wigglesworth, that drunk fan has a better chance of killing someone later with his car.
  • by RT Location: Lansing on Dec 10, 2012 at 12:45 PM
    Elaine...all drivers have passed a driving test and it is a true statement driving increases the likelihood of getting in an accident and being killed (far higher than being killed by a firearm). The more exposure to automobiles increases the chance of an accident. Are you consistent in your mindset and in favor of more restrictions on the automobile? Don't worry Elaine, regardless of the 2000 gun laws on the federal and state books, there will ALWAYS be guns on the streets. The question is do you prefer them in the hands of honorable citizens or criminals who don't care about the laws??
  • by Elaine Location: Location on Dec 8, 2012 at 07:24 PM
    You know Keith; people may be trained to carry weapons but it also increases the likelihood of an accidently shooting. Just look at what happened in Penn. with the father that accidently shot his 7 year old son. He was probably trained but it is still a tragedy. The more exposure to guns increases the chances of an accident. Of course; since I have had 3 family members murdered; two during a robbery and one while out hunting; maybe you would think I would be for more weapons on the streets but I am not.
  • by anonymous Location: plymouth on Dec 6, 2012 at 10:52 AM
    To Lee No, there will still be the Federal NICS check on EVERY firearm purchased, not just handguns. This system is better for catching someone adjudicated mentally defective. The state may not have any state record of a person being declared mentally defective in another state, which is where the federal background check will catch it. The state check is redundant AND infective. A complete false sense of security for those who believe it does something.
  • by Jason Location: Jackson on Dec 5, 2012 at 10:27 PM
    Tim, I've owned several guns for over 10 years. So I'm looking for trouble? Wow you should have your head examined. What an uneducated comment.
  • by Lee Location: Location on Dec 5, 2012 at 12:38 PM
    If I get this correctly someone who has been diagnosed with mental problems, could go an buy guns, and no one would check up on them? A killer could get out of jail and go and buy guns? I agree with Sandi, what are they drinking?
  • by Tim Hill Location: Jackson on Dec 5, 2012 at 04:04 AM
    This is a vanity law, if you go to church-pray, if you go to the game-watch, but if your have a gun your looking for trouble no matter where you go
  • by Keith Jones Location: Ovid on Dec 3, 2012 at 03:10 PM
    I believe the new gun laws to be good as a cost-saving measure, and as a supportive measure of our 2nd Amendment rights. Regarding the argument that it would allow people to buy handguns without thorough checks, is ridiculous. The new laws still require background checks before the handgun can be purchased. For concealed carry permits, a Federal background check is still required. To say that the changes to gun laws will put more guns on the streets is true, but the guns will be in the hands of those who are trained and qualified. Criminals will continue to get the guns they want regardless of the laws. The new laws make it easier for honest law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their families from the criminal element.
  • by Robert Location: Okemos on Dec 3, 2012 at 03:05 PM
    I guess sheriff Gene has forgot that the law says if you are drinking you can't carry.
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