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Letter to Senate: stop the "guns in schools" bills

The Honorable Arlan Meekhof
Majority Leader
Michigan State Senate
Lansing, MI 48909

7 November 2017

Dear Majority Leader Meekhof and members of the Senate,

On behalf of parent advocates across the state of Michigan, I can only say that we are stunned that the state Senate has chosen not only to revive, but to fast-track, legislation that would end most restrictions on who can bring deadly firearms into our public schools and other sensitive areas. There is simply no excuse for this kind of reckless legislation, which solves no problems but potentially endangers many innocents.

In only one hour of committee hearings, you and your colleagues have moved forward a package of bills that not only strips local school districts of the power to control weapons in their own school buildings, but guts the original agreement that underlies the “shall issue” legislation for concealed pistol licenses. Former Gov. John Engler insisted that certain gun-free zones be included before he would sign that legislation. These bills would sweep that compromise away.

A few hours of classes do not equal the extensive training law enforcement officers receive in how and when to use their weapons. Schools would be in the impossible position of figuring out who was legally permitted to bring a concealed weapon into the building and what their intentions might be. These bills place the desire of a very few to carry guns anyplace they choose over the very real right of our children to attend school in safety and without fear.

We ask that you and your colleagues pause to question what possible benefits this legislation could have for our children, examine the much more substantial dangers it would bring to our children, and wonder who would ultimately benefit. I assure you, it would not be our children, our schools, or our communities. Senate Bills 584-586 represent a tangible threat to the children of our state and should under no circumstances become law in Michigan. We join with the Michigan PTA, Michigan Assn. of School Boards, Michigan Assn. of School Administrators, and dozens of other organizations in opposing these bills.


Steven J. Norton
Executive Director


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