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Concealed Guns In Michigan Schools Under Debate

Concealed Pistol
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A state Senate committee has approved legislation that would essentially eliminate “gun-free” zones in Michigan.   Rick Pluta reports.

The 4-1 party-line vote sends the bills to the Senate floor, but Governor Rick Snyder is sending strong signals that a veto would be in store should the legislation ever reach his desk.  The bill would end the loophole in the law that allows people with concealed pistol permits to open carry in schools. But, the tradeoff is schools could no longer ban licensed concealed weapons.

State Senator Mike Green (R-Maryville) says his bill answers concerns by school administrators that adults openly carrying firearm in schools is disruptive. But, he says, allowing concealed weapons would allowing concealed make schools safer.  “More guns, there’s less crimes,” he says. “Wherever there are gun-free zones, there’s less crimes committed.”

Most school officials who showed up to testify said allowing concealed guns in schools should not be the solution to closing the open-carry loophole. They say administrators should not have to concern themselves with whether an armed person is licensed or not. They also said, in cases of school shootings, authorities should not have to sort through who is licensed to carry a gun and who is a criminal.    

Susan Bailey-Carmen is with the group Moms Demand Action. She says these bills go in the wrong direction.  “I would really like, specifically, to keep guns out of schools,” she said. “Whether they’re open carry or conceal carry, I don’t think guns have a place in schools at all.”

The governor’s spokeswoman also reiterated that Snyder would continue to oppose any legislation that does not allow schools to ban guns whether they are concealed or openly carried. The governor vetoed a similar bill in 2012. 

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— Rick Pluta is the Managing Editor and Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network. Contact WEMU News at734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

Rick Pluta is the managing editor for the Michigan Public Radio Network.
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