LANSING, Mich.—The Michigan Senate on Tuesday passed a comprehensive overhaul of the state’s concealed pistol license (CPL) system by a vote of 24-13, announced state Sen. Mike Green, sponsor of the legislation.
“Michigan residents currently pay one of the highest CPL fees in the nation, yet they must deal with inconsistent requirements from county to county and experience some of the country’s longest delays,” said Green, R-Mayville.
“The reason is simple: Michigan is still operating on a system created in 1927 with county gun boards. In an era of modern technology and electronic records systems, we can do it better, more cost-effectively and more efficiently, saving taxpayer dollars and delivering folks more value for their hard-earned dollars while protecting public safety.”
Senate Bill 789 will make the CPL process more efficient by eliminating the county concealed weapons licensing boards. Michigan is the only “shall issue” state in the nation that still uses these boards.
County clerks would continue to accept applications and issue approved licenses if the applicant is qualified based on extensive background checks. The responsibility for conducting those checks would be moved from county sheriffs to the Department of State Police in an effort to reduce the cost burden on county departments and focus deputies on public safety, not bureaucratic tasks. The state police would have no authority whether a license was issued or not.
The legislation establishes a clear and enforceable 45 day time limit from the date fingerprints are taken. The current deadline is widely viewed as unenforceable. If the clerk fails to issue a license in that timeframe, the applicant would use a receipt and their driver’s license as a temporary CPL. Existing licensees in good standing would experience no lapse if they apply before the expiration date of their current license.
The bill also requires approved licenses to be mailed, renewal notices to be sent and reduces the renewal fee from $105 to $90.
“These reforms will free up local law enforcement resources from bureaucratic tasks to focus on public safety in our local communities,” Green stated. “More importantly, it will create a true ‘shall issue’ CPL system for law-abiding citizens while keeping licenses out of the hands of bad guys.”
SB 789 is supported by the National Rifle Association and the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners. It now moves to the House for consideration.
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