Carrying a gun on school campuses is a controversial topic. It’s ridiculous how controversial the topic is, as a matter of fact. After all, anyone with half a brain knows the people who care what the law says aren’t the ones who will be causing problems in the first place.
That said, only a handful of states allow concealed carry on public school campuses, meaning non-college campuses.
A bill in Michigan seeks to add their state to that list.
Michigan would be in the minority – joining just a handful of states nationwide – if legislation eliminating a ban on concealed guns in schools was signed into law, according to a national gun violence prevention group.
Information compiled by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence shows six states – Alabama, Alaska, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island and Utah – allow residents with concealed pistol licenses to carry firearms in K-12 schools.
In Hawaii, there’s no relevant law on the matter, meaning it’s generally up to individual school districts to set policy on the matter, said Hannah Shearer, an attorney at the Giffords center, named after former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was injured in a 2011 mass shooting in her home state of Arizona.
Another state, Wyoming, allows school employees – but not the public – to carry concealed firearms in schools, Shearer said.
However, all isn’t roses and sunshine with the Michigan bill.
There’s one little catch in place. That is the bill will close a loophole in current state law that allows open carry on school grounds.
The permits needed to carry at a school will be an additional eight hours of training, making it similar to Arkansas’ “enhanced” permits…preferably with the training ready to go far enough ahead of time so people can actually get the permits.
Folks in Michigan shouldn’t get their hopes up that concealed carry on school grounds will be a thing, however. Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed a similar bill in 2012 and has gone on to say that he didn’t “see any real change from where we were.” While he hasn’t come right out and warned of a veto, it seems a likely outcome based on his previous actions.
Closing the open carry loophole is may well be more of a calculated move designed to get potentially hostile politicians on board, but it’s still likely to not sit well with some gun rights advocates, and understandably so. After all, does it ultimately move the needle on gun rights toward more freedom? Or less.
At best, this one sounds like a wash, and that’s not really worth it to a lot of people, particularly if open carry is permitted with or without a permit. Personally, I think open carry is a bad way to go about business as a general rule, but not everyone shares that opinion.
Regardless, this bill warrants careful watching. If it gets through the legislative hurdles and lands on Snyder’s desk, will it be a repeat of 2012? Or will the current political climate force his hand and push him to sign the bill into law?
We’ll just have to wait and see, unfortunately.