LANSING, Mich. — Forthcoming legislation in the state Senate would allow law-abiding adults to carry firearms without a license.
“Danger can strike at any moment,” said Sen. Lana Theis, R-Brighton. “Now, more than ever, it is essential that law-abiding citizens be prepared to protect themselves and their families. With crime and lawlessness on the rise, residents shouldn’t have to ask permission to better defend themselves.”
According to the Michigan State Police, the rate of violent crime offenses increased in the state by more than double the national average in 2020 and increased again in 2021 while the national average dropped.
“The financial burdens placed on gun owners from CPL laws and from recent gun control legislation discourage or prohibit law-abiding citizens from self-defense, especially for those who are financially challenged,” Theis said. “The legislation we introduced removes one of the barriers that too many Michigan residents are facing. You are your own first responder and being prepared to defend oneself should be an attainable goal.”
The right to keep and bear arms is protected under Article 1, Section 6 of the Michigan Constitution, in addition to the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. While Michigan is a so-called “shall issue” state, currently residents must first complete a state approved pistol training course, submit their fingerprints to a state database, and pay a $100 application fee to receive a concealed pistol license. The license expires after five years, and license holders must pay $115 to renew a license.
Senate Bill 308, sponsored by Theis, would repeal the current requirement for an individual to obtain a concealed pistol license and eliminate supposed “safe zones.” Companion measures, SBs 309-313, would repeal the requirement for military members to obtain a CPL to carry a firearm; repeal the requirement related to the transportation of firearms for CPL holders; repeal sentencing guidelines and the corrections code for CPLs; and repeal the requirement for retired law enforcement officers who retire in good standing to obtain a CPL.
“Sadly, we know that gun-free zones do not prevent active shooter incidents, and CPL laws inhibit people’s ability to protect and defend themselves, while criminals, by definition, acquire and use guns while ignoring the law,” Theis said. “Gun owners must already undergo background checks to purchase pistols in Michigan, and recently, the state passed legislation expanding that mandate to all firearms. The fact is, CPL laws are little more than a de facto gun registry and source of revenue for the state, causing law-abiding citizens to jump through hoops to exercise their God-given, constitutional right. These barriers cause too many people to forgo getting a CPL altogether, potentially sacrificing their own safety in the process. Particularly as crime is on the rise, we should be doing everything we can to help people protect themselves.”
If signed into law, Michigan would join the 27 other states that have enacted similar laws establishing constitutional carry.