Retired federal law enforcement officials would be able to carry concealed weapons in “no carry zones” under a bill approved by the state Senate. The bill got overwhelming bipartisan support.
“No carry zones” include places such as schools, day care centers, taverns, hospitals, and sports arenas where concealed weapons are prohibited.
Supporters say former federal agents face extraordinary danger.
“They have faced organized crime, they have faced drug cartels, some of them have fought terrorists – they have huge targets on their back,” said Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, who introduced the legislation.
But many pro-gun groups oppose Senate Bill 53 and similar legislation.
“There are no data to support the claim that these groups of people are indeed attacked more in these areas than the general public,” said Tom Lambert, vice president of Michigan Open Carry.
“Usually in selling the bill, we hear testimony that amounts to these people’s lives matter more than everyone else.”
Lambert says as long as “no carry zones” exist, no group should have special privileges to carry in those areas. And he says creating carve-outs in the law will only make it more difficult to abolish the zones altogether, which is a goal of many pro-gun groups like Michigan Open Carry.
A bill on the state House floor would create similar exemptions for corrections, probation and parole officers.