Conceal carry bill vetoed by Gov. SnyderPublished 5:02pm Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed legislation Tuesday that would have allowed residents with special training and a specific license to carry a concealed pistol on public property, including schools and churches.
The decision came as a relief to many who were urging Snyder to veto the bill.
“The arguments in favor of this bill were flawed before last Friday,” said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. “Now, it is unthinkable that Michigan would make it easier to bring weapons closer to our children in their schools.”
Snyder’s veto of Senate Bill 59 primarily is based on the bill’s failure to let designated public entities, such as schools, day care centers and hospitals, opt out of the new concealed carry provisions.
“These public venues need clear legal authority to ban firearms on their premises if they see fit to do so,” Snyder said.
Senate Bill 59 was approved by the Michigan Legislature Thursday evening, just hours before the tragic school shooting in Connecticut.
Many people urged Gov. Snyder to veto the bill, including John Kasper, pastor United Methodist Church in Dowagiac.
He said his church is a no-weapons safety zone and should stay that way.
“We need to be able to say, when you come here, our policy is that there are no weapons here,” Kasper said, “and that, instead, you can come and know you are in a place of safety.”
Kasper said he doesn’t believe in the argument that allowing people to have concealed weapons in public places would provide a sense of safety.
“I would be in fact concerned that having weapons already in the building might actually do a disfavor in that light,” Kasper said. “I am just having a real hard time with the whole sense that we can take care of violence with violence.”
The tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary also highlighted the need for a thorough review of SB 59, though Snyder had committed to give the bill additional scrutiny even before the tragedy in an effort to ensure that public safety remains a priority.
“While the bill’s goal is to help prevent needless violence, Michigan will be better served if we view it through a variety of lenses,” Snyder said. “A thoughtful review that examines issues such as school emergency policies, disenfranchised youth and mental health services may lead to more answers and better safeguards.”
While the governor rejected Senate Bill 59, he did sign two other bills that streamline the process for handgun purchases and eliminate restrictions on interstate rifle and shotgun transactions to states contiguous to Michigan.
Tags: Gov. Rick Snyder