Senate Republicans introduce constitutional carry legislation
LANSING, Mich. — Legislation recently introduced in the state Senate would allow law-abiding adults to conceal carry firearms without a license.
“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” said Sen. Lana Theis, R-Brighton. “The legislation we have introduced simply recognizes and restores Michiganders’ constitutional rights and would allow law-abiding adults to carry a firearm, concealed or in the open, without a license.”
Senate Bills 489-492 would repeal the current requirement to obtain a concealed pistol license for individuals who are not otherwise prohibited from possessing a pistol and allow concealed carry without a license where either open carry or concealed pistol license holders are currently allowed to do so.
“There is no evidence that these current laws actually keep us safer,” said Sen. Tom Barrett, R-Charlotte. “Individuals already undergo a background check when purchasing a firearm and these bills do not stop that requirement. Instead, this forced government revenue stream requires law-abiding citizens to jump through hoops to exercise their constitutional rights.”
The right to keep and bear arms is protected under Article 1, Section 6 of the Michigan Constitution. While Michigan is a so-called “shall issue” state, residents must first complete a state approved pistol training course, submit their fingerprints to a state database, and pay a $100 application fee in order to receive a concealed pistol license. The license expires after five years, and license holders must pay $115 to renew a license.
“Criminals by definition operate outside of the law, whereas CPL holders are amongst society’s most law-abiding citizens,” said Sen. Roger Victory, R-Hudsonsville. “Yet, it is far more likely that otherwise responsible gun owners find themselves unintentionally violating the current and unnecessary concealed pistol law than it is stopping someone with criminal intent.”
If approved, Michigan would join at least 20 other states with similar laws on the books.
“Either we believe in the constitution, and apply it as written, or we don’t,” said Sen. Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton. “Since we do, Michiganders should therefore not have to submit to or rely on state bureaucrats to enjoy their God-given and constitutionally protected rights to defend themselves and others. The constitution is our license.”
SBs 489-492 were referred to the Senate Government Operations Committee for consideration.