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Action alert: MI Senate voting on concealed guns in schools, daycares, churches


MI Senate voting on concealed guns in schools, daycares, churches

Dear Friends,

I'm sorry to come back to you again so soon, but the folks in Lansing are trying to pull a fast one on us.
Yesterday afternoon, a Senate committee approved three bills which will basically wipe out the idea of gun-free zones in our state. In addition, they are taking steps to explicitly block school districts, libraries, and others from setting their own rules on who can carry a firearm into their buildings.
Now, those bills are expected to come up for a vote in the full Senate this morning (Wednesday). They are trying to move so fast that people who oppose these bills cannot get organized in time. Let's prove them wrong!
Take action now - use our action alert here! (Follow the link to see our letter to the Senate!)
The bills are really doing two things: making it easy for people applying for a concealed pistol license (CPL) to ask for permission to carry in former "gun free zones," and prohibiting schools and libraries from making any rules that are stricter than the state's. (More detail below.)
Not only are these proposals very dangerous, they also break the agreement that broadened access to CPL permits back in 2000. Then-governor John Engler refused to sign the bill that deregulated CPLs unless it also specified certain gun free zones. That compromise has stood - until now.
Supporters of these bills are catering to a tiny minority who want to carry their guns everywhere by putting our children and others at greater risk from accidents and bad intentions. And how are our schools supposed to figure out who has a legal permit and who doesn't, anyway?
Please use our advocacy system to contact your state Senator, along with the Governor and Lt. Governor, as soon as possible this morning! We need to stop these bills now and avoid another fight over in the state House.
Thank you for your advocacy and your commitment!
Steve Norton
Michigan Parents for Schools

Some details:
SB 584 would change the CPL application process so that a person could ask for an exemption which allowed them to carry a concealed weapon in the "gun free zones." According to the Senate Fiscal Agency analysis, those include:
  • A school or school property, except for a student's parent or legal guardian while in a vehicle on school property, if he or she is dropping off or picking up the student.
  • A public or private child care center or day care center, child caring institution, or child placing agency.
  • A sports arena or stadium.
  • A licensed bar or tavern whose primary source of income is the sale of liquor by the glass for on-premises consumption.
  • Any property or facility owned or operated by a church, synagogue, mosque, temple, or other place of worship, unless its presiding official or officials permit the carrying of a concealed pistol on the property or facility.
  • An entertainment facility with a seating capacity of 2,500 or more that the person knows or should know has such a seating capacity or that has a sign stating that capacity.
  • A hospital.
  • A dormitory or classroom of a community college, college, or university.
Under current law, you have to be on a short list of professions (mostly law enforcement) to carry a concealed weapon in these places. Under the bills, anyone with the exemption could carry a concealed weapon in these areas.
To get the exemption, you do have to take several hours of gun safety training, but that is nothing compared to the training that law enforcement officers receive on how and when to use their gun.
SB 586 would ban local school districts, ISDs, libraries, and others from setting their own rules on guns that were stricter than those of the state (this already applies to cities and towns, and other municipal agencies). This would wipe out the argument that several school districts have so far successfully used to defend their own bans on both open and concealed carry guns.

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