USA -(Ammoland.com)- Thanks to all of you who responded to our Action Alert this past Monday and contacted your state senator on five pro-gun bills. All five bills passed the Michigan Senate overwhelmingly on Wednesday after MCRGO offered supportive testimony in the Senate Government Operations Committee on Tuesday.
We have received a number of questions regarding Senate Bill 584. The legislation would create a general exemption to the concealed pistol free zones in MCL 28.425o with additional training. Any new or renewing CPL holder would be able to request a general exemption on their CPL at with no additional fee paid to their county clerk. For those who wish to add the exemption to their current CPL, a county clerk may issue a replacement license at a cost not to exceed $20.
To qualify for the general exemption, an applicant must take additional training beyond that required for their standard CPL. The additional training must be not less than 8 hours and not fewer than 94 rounds. Its focus is on training principles as they relate to environments common to the concealed pistol free zones.
The one-time advanced training must have been taken not more than five years preceding application. Not every course would qualify.
We believe the NRA's Personal Protection Outside the Home would be a qualifying course. MCRGO is in the process of developing a qualifying Advanced CPL course. Firearms instructors teaching a MCL 28.425j qualifying course are exempt from the additional training requirement.
Currently only special groups of CPL holders are eligible for a PFZ exemption including but not limited to: private investigators, retired police officers, corrections officers, members of a sheriff's posse, and state court judges. Those groups will continue to qualify for a PFZ exemption without the additional training.
While MCRGO would prefer an outright elimination of pistol free zones, we understand the political reality makes that next to impossible at the moment. MCRGO supports SB 584 because it would dramatically expand the number of people legally carrying concealed in pistol free zones and serve as a deterrent to mass shootings -98% of which occur in places where firearms are prohibited by law.
Two late amendments were added to the bill in the Senate. One would ban the intentional display or open carry of a pistol in a pistol free zone unless the person has the express written consent of the owner or agent of the property.
Another would add property owned by an airport authority to the list of concealed pistol free zones. MCRGO has concerns about both of these amendments and will support action to address them in the House of Representatives, their next step in the legislative process.
Finally, the big question: Will Governor Snyder sign the legislation? The answer is that we don't know yet. Snyder has vetoed similar but broader legislation in the past because it does not have an opt-out for publicly owned pistol free zones such as schools.
MCRGO opposes the opt-out as it would weaken preemption. We are hopeful that as his final months in office tick down, the governor will come to understand and accept the public safety benefits provided by the bill.
Given the recent increase in mass shootings nationally, we feel the time to act is now regardless of any veto threat. If you agree, please contact your state representative HERE to ask them to support SB 584.
The Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners is a non-profit, non-partisan organization. Formed from just eight people in 1996, we now have thousands of members and numerous affiliated clubs across the state. We’re growing larger and more effective every day.
Our mission statement is: “Promoting safe use and ownership of firearms through education, litigation, and legislation.” For more information, visit their their website, www.mcrgo.org.