LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed the legislation that would have allowed concealed weapon licensed holders to carry on off-limit areas.
The bill (SB 59) would’ve allowed those who have completed additional training to carry their weapons in schools, churches and other public spheres.
Although Snyder shot down the bill, he did sign two others. According to the governor’s office, the bills he signed into legislation will “streamline the process for handgun purchases and eliminate restrictions on interstate rifle and shotgun transactions to states contiguous to Michigan.”
The governor’s office also said that Snyder’s decision to veto the bill was based on its inability to allow designated public entities such as schools, day care centers and hospitals to opt out of the new concealed weapons provisions. Under Michigan law, a concealed weapons license holder is not prevented from openly carrying in these zones.
Snyder tried to modify the bill (SB 59) to restrict weapons in those zones by “prohibiting open-carry in such places, in exchange for allowing only concealed pistols to be carried if license holders receive additional training.” If the bill was passed in its original form, it would’ve only allowed private areas to opt out, including college universities.
“We must vigilantly protect the rights of law-abiding firearms owners,” Snyder said. “We also must ensure the right of designated public entities to exercise their best discretion in matters of safety and security. These public venues need clear legal authority to ban firearms on their premises if they see fit to do so.”
The governor said he planned to turn down the bill even before the tragic school shootings that took place in Connecticut on Friday. He said that public safety remains a top priority. He also ordered an assessment of the state’s needs in regards to at-risk children.”
“We must consider legislation like SB 59 in a holistic manner,” Snyder said. “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. 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.”
For more information on these bills visit http://www.legislature.mi.gov