AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File
As gun control activists march across the nation, burning the Second Amendment as they go, they’re supported by a media that likes to pretend that the tide is turning against gun rights. However, the truth is that many individuals and lawmakers are still staunch defenders of our sacred and protected right to keep and bear arms.
Take efforts in Michigan, for example.
Michigan gun owners could carry concealed weapons without a license, letting license-holders carry in gun-free zones and carry loaded weapons on off-road vehicles under Republican-sponsored bills pending in the state House.
With firearm legislation flying, the House Committee on Military, Veterans and Homeland Security took up two gun-related bills this week — one to decriminalize carrying a concealed pistol with an expired license, and another to allow residents to carry loaded rifles on their own property, including on off-road vehicles.
The bills aren’t formally linked, but fall into a general grouping from Republicans looking to expand gun rights and peel back regulations. The caucus named protecting second amendment rights as one of its top priorities this session.
Committee Chair Rep. Beau LaFave, R-Iron Mountain, said the bills are part of a broader effort to strengthen second amendment rights in Michigan, including a bills allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms without permission from the state, and allowing CPL holders to enter gun-free zones.
LaFave and a handful of other Republican representatives are co-sponsoring several bills similar to legislation that languished in the 2017-18 session. Most are pending in the House Judiciary Committee or Committee on Military, Veterans and Homeland Security.
LaFave said Michigan should be a “constitutional carry” state, a term referencing the Second Amendment right to bear arms. LaFave said the U.S. Constitution and Michigan Constitution clearly state government can’t abridge an individual’s right own firearms for self-defense.
Opponents of the bills say requiring permits for concealed carry and establishing weapons-free public spaces are reasonable regulations designed to keep citizens safe.
Opponents can say that. They can even believe that.
But I hate to break it to them; it doesn’t work. Criminals continue to carry weapons without permits, meaning the permits exist only to place a burden on law-abiding citizens looking to protect themselves from those criminals.
Constitutional carry removes that burden and permits the good guys to carry without having to jump through hoops that accomplish nothing.
Now, I don’t know what the odds are of these bills passing. While the Republican Party does have control over both chambers, that doesn’t guarantee passage of anything. Plus, the state has a Democrat in the governor’s office, which makes these bills something of a long shot, especially since GOP control over the legislature isn’t significant enough to override a veto without a significant number of Democrats siding with Republicans.
In this day and age, that’s not likely to happen.
However, it’s also possible that Governor Gretchen Whitmer can be convinced to sign the bill, especially in exchange for something else she may want from the Republican-controlled legislature, so it’s not entirely impossible for Michigan to have constitutional carry. I just wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for it.