Mon, Jan 24, 2011
Prohibitions on those with permits to carry a concealed weapon on bringing their guns into certain major public venues like schools, sports stadiums and places of worship would be lifted under legislation to be introduced Wednesday in the Senate.
The bills, sponsored by Sen. Mike Green (R-Mayville), also would eliminate local gun licensing boards and instead transfer all authority over permitting to the Department of State.
Mr. Green, as a House member, was the lead legislator on the effort in the 1999-2000 term to give applicants for a permit an automatic right to that permit unless they had certain criminal convictions or a history of mental illness. Previously, it was up to local gun boards who could get a permit.
"There's been a lot of proof that what we did was right," Mr. Green said. "I think most of the fear is gone as far as people illegally using the guns or people wanting a CCW other than to protect themselves."
Mr. Green said local gun boards should be eliminated because some continue to take too long to process permits, sometimes as much as six months.
"They drag their feet, drag their feet," he said. "We could rid of a whole bunch of junk we have to deal with by moving this to the secretary of state."
Mr. Green said he did not know for certain what committee would get the bills, but his understanding is that it would go to the Judiciary Committee. He said he did not anticipate the legislation would come up soon with all officials focused on economic legislation, but has asked Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville (R-Monroe) and Sen. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge), the Judiciary chair, for at least a fair hearing.