Tuesday, February 09, 2016

MI: Constitutional Carry Introduced for 2016

 A virtual restoration of constitutional carry was introduced to the Michigan legislature in 2015, but to my knowledge, it did not move.  This may have been because a scandal involving an extramarital affair involving the sponsor, Cindy Gamrat.

Int 2016, constitutional carry bills were introduced in the House, numbered 5301 to 5304.  From upnorthlive.com:
"These bills simply place into law the Second Amendment rights of Michigan residents to bear arms without asking the government's permission to do so," Rep. Barrett said, sponsor of HB 5302. "The current concealed weapons permit amounts to nothing more than a state tax on a freedom guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution."

Rep. Cole, who wrote HB 5304, said the current permit requirement in Michigan is a government over-reach that places a burden on residents who want to defend themselves against criminals.
We have little history to go by.  Michigan has been making steady, incremental gains in restoring Second Amendment rights, which had been severely degraded during the "progressive" era of the last 100 years.  Initially, the laws were used to ensure that black people were disarmed; there are still remnants of that policy today in urban centers like Detroit.

Here are links to the pdf files for this series of bills: 5301(pdf)5302(pdf)5303(pdf)5304(pdf).

Tom Lambert, a Michigan gun owner and Second Amendment activist, is quoted as supportive of the bills.  From 248shooter.com:
 “I think they are very well done. They are clean and they are focused. Rather than trying to do everything at once, they focus in on a specific issue and address it in the way it should be addressed. For example: rather than just deleting 750.227 (2), they change it to apply only to those prohibited from possessing a firearm. That is how this statute should work. Law-abiding citizens are not the problem, it’s the criminals.”
Michigan Second Amendment supporters are well organized, active, and politically savvy.  They have been able to pass several roll backs of "progressive" era infringements on Second Amendment rights in Michigan in the last few years.

The governor, Rich Snyder, is not an enthusiastic supporter of Second Amendment rights, but with enough pressure, he has shown that he can see the light.

Constitutional carry is definitely taking ground and advancing in many states.  In a dozen years, the number of states with constitutional carry has increased from 1(Vermont) to 7;  Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Maine, Vermont and Wyoming are clear.  West Virginia and Idaho are likely candidates to add to the list this year.

In addition to Michigan, legislation is also being considered in Indiana, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.  Mississippi enacted a law last year that is very close to Constitutional carry.  Constitutional carry is the law in 99% of Montana and Idaho.

15 years ago, Constitutional carry was a dream for most Second Amendment supporters.  Many derided it as unobtainable.  It has been restored in 7 states, and is being debated in 15 others, some of which have passed bills with veto proof majorities in previous years.

 ©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.  Link to Gun Watch

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