Michigan bill lets gun owners carry without license

Walther Colt 1911

Isn’t that nice:

In June, Michigan’s Legislature passed a series of bills that permit lawful gun owners to carry concealed weapons under their clothing without requiring a license or training. These bills must still go through the State Senate before the Governor signs them, which might not happen.

If the bills pass, Michigan joins 14 other states permitting what has been dubbed “Constitutional Carry.”

Since 2001, Michigan has become more in favor of gun rights. The state has expanded access to concealed weapon permits.

According to nonprofit Crime Prevention Research Center, which is focused on crime and guns research, gun laws are increasingly becoming more liberal. This usually begins with the right to carry a weapon, reducing/eliminating gun-free zones, expanded access to concealed gun permits and finally, abolishing training or licensing mandates.

Arguments in favor of the change suggest that reducing these requirements frees a citizen’s constitutional right from bureaucratic fees and training, according to the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners, which is in favor of legislation.

Critics of the legislation, which includes several law enforcement groups, disagree, arguing that the new laws would shred basic gun safety measures including required training. Michigan State Police testified against the bill. The Michigan Sheriffs’ Association, noted that although they agree with the right to carry, citizens must also act with responsibility, which would include licensing and training.

Police officers worry that the new law could result in more people with less training obtaining guns. This could result in accidents. Additionally, during a traffic stop, a computer check shows if the driver holds a concealed weapons permit but without the licensing requirement, the law enforcement officer would have no idea if a concealed weapon is present.

Defense attorney Patrick Barone noted, “statistics and research indicate that those taking the basic weapons training courses often have little prior knowledge of weapons. Carrying a concealed pistol is an awesome responsibility and those deciding to do so must learn the safest way to handle, use, store and transport their guns. Hopefully, most people making this choice will opt for sufficient training, even if it is no longer required under this new law.”

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