With the fall legislative session under way, I wanted to make sure you saw the news that Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof has said “the timing isn’t right yet” to move forward on legislation that would take away Michigan’s license requirement for carrying a concealed pistol in public. The majority leader’s comments suggest Michigan is poised to join the many other states that have declined to pass dangerous permitless carry legislation in the face of bipartisan public opposition and grave concerns from law enforcement.
Earlier this year, the Michigan House of Representatives passed HB 4416, a bill that would allow people to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public without a license or firearm safety training. Dismantling the license requirement would lower the bar for who may carry concealed handguns in public in Michigan, to include some violent criminals, stalkers and drug criminals. More information about this bill is available here.
The House vote came despite polling showing Michiganders’ strong support for the current licensing requirement. In fact, 91 percent of respondents – including 94 percent of Republicans, 95 percent of Democrats, 84 percent of gun owners and 85 percent of current license holders – support the state’s existing Concealed Pistol License – or CPL – requirement for carrying a concealed handgun in public.
Of the 28 states that have considered permitless carry this year, 20 states have rejected such legislation and only two have enacted it. Permitless carry bills remain pending in six states, including Michigan. Across the border in Indiana, where a committee of the state legislature is studying such a proposal, law enforcement officials and editorial boards across the state have urged state lawmakers to keep the license requirement intact.
The Michigan State Police, Michigan Sheriffs Association and Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police have all been vocally opposed to the permitless carry, echoing the concerns of law enforcement groups in a number of other states including North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Missouri.
If you have any questions on the proposed legislation, please don’t hesitate to reach out.