Tuesday, May 03, 2005


Like many others, Peg Baumann was quick to seek a permit to carry a hidden handgun when Michigan legislators made it easier. She jumped through all the "hoops" -- taking classes, giving fingerprints and submitting to a background check. But nearly four years later, the suburban mom says she still does not always feel safe because state law bars it in many places, such as the school where she drops off her 10-year-old son. "I proved I'm an upstanding citizen, but I can't carry it. I have to leave it in the car," said Baumann, 49, who lives in Kentwood. "What if the bad guy gets you between coming in and out?"

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Alan Cropsey said Baumann's not alone. That's why he's holding a hearing May 13 in Caledonia to listen to their concerns. The hearing is just one of four stops Cropsey is making around the state as he considers introducing legislation. In addition to lifting the ban on carrying in public places, gun advocates are pushing to move the permit process from counties to the Secretary of State's office and allow renewal with out turning in new fingerprints.

The law making it easier to get a permit took effect in July 2001 and requires gun board's in the state's 83 counties to issue a concealed weapons permit (CCW) if applicants are at least 21, have not been convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors, and have no history of mental illness. Since it took effect, 111,620 people in the state have obtained the right to carry a hidden handgun. Cropsey notes the main goal of opening up the process beyond those who demonstrate a clear need for a permit has been accomplished.

But Cropsey -- whose senate district includes Ionia and part of Montcalm counties -- favors letting property owners decide whether handguns should be allowed on their premises. "We have had complaints from people who say because of the neighborhood I live in, I need to carry when I drop my child off and pick them up from day care," said Cropsey, referring to the portion of the law that prohibits concealed weapons at day-care centers. "Why don't you let the day-care operator make that decision?" Under current law, those with a permit face fines and permit suspension or revocation if they bring their concealed pistols to designated public areas including schools, day-care centers, churches, hospitals, casinos, colleges, sports arenas and stadiums, and bars where liquor sales are the primary source of income.

More here

Indiana: Gun restrictions to help slain officer? "House Bill 1776, which received final legislative approval Monday night, spells out a process to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and gives judges more authority to order searches of the homes of those believed to pose a threat. The bill was the legislature's response to Kenneth Anderson's shooting rampage in August, which took the life of Indianapolis Police Department Officer Timothy 'Jake' Laird. Authorities would be able to retain, for up to 14 days, guns seized from someone believed to be dangerous. A prosecutor could petition to extend the time the weapons are held; a court would have to rule on that request."

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