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Public sector

Snyder veto sought on gun-zone changes

School, religious and hospital leaders plan to continue their opposition to pending changes to Michigan’s concealed weapon law this week by asking Gov. Rick Snyder to veto Senate Bill 59.

That bill, passed in the last hours of the recent “lame-duck” legislative session, would allow certified concealed weapon permit holders to carry weapons into schools and other “gun-free zones”, if they acquire extra firearm training.

That change drew plenty of opposition at a House committee hearing last week, while the issue of gun violence in schools has come to the fore in the wake of the shooting deaths in Newtown, Conn.

“Right now, we are working on a draft letter to request a veto,” said Don Wotruba of the Michigan Association of School Boards.

Wotruba said other educational groups probably would be participating.

The Michigan Health & Hospital Association plans its own letter to reiterate its opposition to the bill, too.

“Our position is that we don’t want more guns in proximity to students due to the risk of accidents,” Wotruba said. “Notwithstanding last week, schools are safe places. In Michigan, 1.6 million students come to school and go home, safely, each day.”

A veto request may find a ready audience in Gov. Rick Snyder, as on Monday, Snyder said he had concerns about the ability of public entities to “opt out” and still bar concealed weapons, according to the MIRS capital news service.

“It was about making sure that there would be some ability for no guns to be allowed at some level. That was important to me,” Snyder told MIRS. “To say that someone — whether it was local people or at some level someone — could say, ‘We don’t want them here’ and it would stick.”

MASB, the Catholic Conference, the United Methodist Church and the hospital association were among those who testified or issued a statement against SB 59 in committee last week.

The House Natural Resources, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation also received testimony or statements of support from gun-rights advocates and the Michigan United Conservation Clubs before advancing the bill to the full House.

17 comments from Bridge readers.Add mine!

  1. Lon

    Sign the Bill Gov. Snyder, MI needs it.

  2. Jason Petty

    We CPL holders can currently openly carry in these zones.
    i will openly carry everyday if this Bill is not signed as will most CPL holders. it is legal for us to do so and we will
    sorry to say it like that. However we will not be caught in a situation where we may need our Gun and dont have it
    i will protect myself and my family at any cost. please Mr. Snyder sign SB59

    1. Brandon

      Couldn’t agree more, I plan to do the same!



  4. Kevin

    Guns do not accidentally go off EVER! I have been carrying for 9 years now and my gun has never gone off or fell into the wrong hands because I am a responsible gun owner. Let’s get this bill passed so we can prevent future acts of violence in schools. These places are targets because they know there is nothing there to stop them. WAKE UP!

  5. Adam

    As a college student and a teacher, I support SB 59. Two shootings last week. At an unarmed elementary school, nearly thirty died. In a mall in Oregon, an active shooter was confronted by a CPL holder. The shooter immediately fled and took his own life. Only two people died. It is time for “change.”

    1. Cathy Walthers

      I can not find the detail of the shooter confronted by the CPL holder on the net anywhere. Would you care to verify this and list the reference?

    2. John Q,

      That’s because it didn’t happen.

  6. Steve A.

    Sign the bill Snyder.
    These mass shootings happen at theaters and schools for a reason.
    The cowardly psychopaths know that they are gun free zones and that nobody will be able to shoot back at them as they carry out their rampage.
    The ONLY thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
    Thats just reality like it or not.

    1. AMF

      I find the signage posted in the GUN FREE ZONE and DRUG FREE ZONE to be nothing more than an invitation to the crazies who are looking to harm or kill, and even sell drugs; what better place or audience to do their dirty deeds and be assured THEY are safe but not their victims. This is and has been the most assinine policy ever.

    2. John

      I keep hearing that all these nut-jobs “planned” to do their deeds in gun-free zones, kiek they were smart enough to lower their own risk by going to theaters, schools, or wherever so as not to run into armed citizens. Show me the data. Making stuff up to justify carry laws as “proof” of certified deterrence is irresponsible. Show me the data and we’ll have a chat. Until then, rushing to arm yourself seems too much knee-jerk and not enough common sense.

  7. Mike R

    The cynic in me thinks Governor Snyder is delaying a decision on the gun bill until the storm blows over and he can cater to his radical right brethren outside the spotlight. The optimist in me hopes that he is sincerely pondering the implications of this back-to-the-future march toward the Wild West days of universal gun-toting, gunfights in the streets, and frontier justice.
    The events of last week, in which a survivalist mother legally filled her house with firearms and taught her troubled son how to use them, have clarified in my mind that much of the blame for the tragedy lies at the feet of the NRA and the pro-gun lobby: over the years they have abandoned reason in favor of zero tolerance for any constraints on who can own what kind of firearm and when. The only logical conclusion is that they believe such events are merely the price society must pay to preserve the Second Amendment from any interpretation or modification that would deprive such people of an unfettered right to arm themselves and, by carelessness, inattention, or design, all those around them. To them it is simply “the cost of doing business.”
    I reject that utterly, and I will forever rail against and condemn those who elevate an unchallenged right to keep and bear arms above all other rights under our constitution.

    1. Steve A.

      Guns are here to stay. There are more guns in America than citizens.
      Any new gun laws will just affect the sale of new guns.
      Even if you banned all new sales of any guns, our country will still be awash in guns.
      Wishing them away is a child like mentality.

      Drugs like Crack, Cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, etc are all banned and illegal, yet they seem to be everywhere. Could that be because criminals ignore laws.

      Laws will not control the behavior of killers, thats also child like to think that they will.

      You cannot prevent a deranged killer from killing, you can only try to stop him once he begins.
      And the only way to stop him is to kill him.
      This is the world we live in.

      1. John Q,

        This is the rhetoric of the gun industry. They profit while people die and they won’t let anything stand in the way of making money.

  8. John Q,

    That’s right. To the NRA and their supporters, 20 dead children are “collateral damage”. As for the CPL holders who want to open-carry, I say go for it. Your use of the threat of open carrying shows that you think you can bully the rest of us with your guns.

    1. AMF

      Your ‘backward’ thinking is very disturbing. Re-think slowly what you have posted.

  9. Joe

    600,000 semi-automatic shotguns and rifles bought back as part of new gun control measures in Australia after a 1996 mass shooting in which 35 people were killed. The country also prohibited private sales of guns. From 1995 to 2006, homicides by firearm in Australia plunged 59 percent – and they haven’t had a mass shooting since.

    19.5/1 is the ratio of people killed by guns in the U.S. compared to other developed countries in the OECD. For 15-to-20-year-olds, firearm homicide rates in the U.S. are 42.7 times higher than in other OECD ( countries, according to a 2011 UCLA School of Public Health study.


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