If Michigan lawmakers have their way, residents of the state could soon be lawfully carrying concealed weapons without a permit.
Coming as part of a four-bill package, the new legislation was introduced in late March of this year. While these new bills seek to do away with the need for a concealed pistol permit, the legislation won’t change any existing laws. Rather, it will define situations where people could lawfully conceal carry without a permit.
The goal of the proposed legislation is to remove penalties for concealed carry without a government-issued permit. According to the legislation’s sponsors, this is an important step toward reforming Michigan’s firearm law to stop the punishment of law-abiding citizens exercising their Second Amendment right to bear arms.
Manton State Representative Michele Hoitenga (R.) is one of these sponsors and relates that the new legislation is necessary to address the many instances of honest citizens getting in trouble for not having their license. Proponents point out that, under the current law, a person without a concealed pistol license could be legally carrying a gun openly on his or her hip, and merely putting on a jacket would constitute a violation of the law.
On the flip side, Blaine Koops, executive director of the Michigan Sheriff’s Association, opposes the legislation. According to Koops, he is concerned about the impact to public and officer safety. Despite his worries, Koops stated that he would remain willing to work with lawmakers on revisions and changes to the current bills.
The legislation was voted out of committee early this month and will be voted on in the full House soon.