Legislation introduced recently in the Michigan House of Representatives enables law-abiding citizens to carry concealed pistols without obtaining a government-issued permit.
The four-bill package is sponsored by Reps. Michele Hoitenga of Manton, Triston Cole of Mancelona, Sue Allor of Wolverine and Pamela Hornberger of Chesterfield Township.
The legislation is a step toward reforming Michigan firearm law to stop law-abiding citizens from being punished for exercising their Second Amendment right to bear arms.
“Responsible people shouldn’t have to obtain a special permit from the government to exercise a right that is guaranteed in both the U.S. and state constitutions,” Hoitenga said.
“Other states have recently passed full constitutional carry laws, and I plead to my colleagues and our governor to pass this common-sense package that will allow law abiding women, like myself, to protect ourselves and our families without jumping through bureaucratic hoops. Criminals don’t complete the permitting process before they commit a crime, and it’s time we level the playing field for lawful people who want nothing more than to protect their families.”
Under current law, Allor said a person without a concealed pistol license could be legally carrying a gun openly on his or her hip and merely putting on a coat makes them in violation of the law.
“Simply put, that is nonsense. Whether or not a gun is concealed should have absolutely no impact on one’s right to defend them self,” Allor said. “Responsible gun owners shouldn’t have to obtain permits before they’re allowed to wear jackets over their guns while hiking, or exploring the great outdoors.”
Cole said people would still have to pass a background check when purchasing a handgun, and anyone currently prohibited from carrying a firearm will not legally be able to carry a concealed firearm if these bills are enacted.
“This is common-sense legislation that gives legal gun owners more freedom to carry their firearms,” Cole said. “These bills have absolutely no impact on the protections already in place to prevent criminals from purchasing handguns.”
Hornberger said the state would continue issuing concealed carry permits; this legislation simply eliminates the requirement to obtain a license to carry in Michigan.
The current permitting structure will remain in place to allow Michigan CPL holders to continue to carry in states that recognize Michigan’s permit. In addition, a CPL will continue to allow people to carry openly in certain restricted zones.
“People deserve to have the rights our Founding Fathers laid out for us in the U.S. Constitution, especially the right to bear arms,” Hornberger said. “The fees required by the current law amount to a tax that infringes on this fundamental right.”
The legislation was developed with input from the recently formed Second Amendment Caucus, co-chaired by Hoitenga, Rep. Jim Runestad of White Lake and Rep. Scott Dianda of Calumet.
House Bills 4416-19 were expected to soon be referred to the House Judiciary Committee.