On Wednesday, the Senate passed a package of legislation making changes to Michigan’s open-carry and concealed-carry laws. The bills allow concealed pistol license (CPL) holders to carry a concealed weapon in gun-free zones such as schools, churches, and sports arenas. Schools would have the authority to prohibit students from carrying a concealed gun on school property and can negotiate with employees during the bargaining process as to whether they can carry on school grounds. In order for a CPL holder to carry in these locations they would be required to have an additional eight hours of training. The legislation also prohibits open-carry in gun-free zones.
Prior to the bills being reported from committee on Tuesday and sent to the Senate floor, the Senate Government Operations Committee heard testimony on the package. While a few groups were supportive of the legislation, Michigan Open Carry, Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners, and the National Rifle Association, numerous organizations submitted cards in opposition to the legislation, including:
Following a party-line vote to report the bills from committee, the three-bill package passed on a party-line vote, with Republicans in favor of the legislation, with the exception of Senator Marty Knollenberg (R-Troy) who voted no along with the Democrats. Prior to final passage, several members of the Democratic caucus proposed amendments to the legislation, such as banning those on the federal no-fly list or who have been convicted of domestic assault from obtaining a CPL. However, none of their offered amendments were adopted. The legislation has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.
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