Questions raised on lame-duck concealed weapons bill on Snyder's desk

Dec 18, 2012

Clergy from across the state are expected to rally in Lansing today, and to call on Gov. Snyder to veto legislation that could allow concealed weapons in schools and churches.

On Stateside yesterday, MPRN's Rick Pluta said Snyder is getting an earful from those opposed to the legislation. The Governor says he's looking carefully at the legislation.

Elisha Anderson and Paul Egan of the Detroit Free Press report the bill is unclear on how schools and other public facilities could keep people from carrying concealed weapons if they wanted to, and that's what is giving the Gov. pause.

The bill passed in Michigan was intended to clarify that open carry of guns is not permitted on school properties, while allowing people with concealed pistol licenses and advanced training to carry concealed weapons in places where they normally couldn't, such as schools and public arenas.

It also was intended to include opt-out provisions for schools and other protected places that don't want any guns -- concealed or otherwise -- on their premises, but that isn't stated clearly.

The lack of a clear opt-out for schools and other public facilities is among Snyder's concerns, Wurfel said.

The bill is clear on how private property owners can opt out:

Nothing in this section prohibits a private property owner from prohibiting an individual from carrying a pistol...

Public schools are not the same as private property, so that question is left open.

Ari Adler, spokesman for House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) defended the bill, saying House Republicans believe the law allows public schools and others public facilities to opt out.

Members of Michigan Prophetic Voices and the Metro Coalition of Congregations say they will hold a prayer vigil this afternoon outside Snyder's office.

Snyder pledged Monday to take a close look at the legislation.

He told The Associated Press that his public safety concerns have been heightened following Friday's mass shooting in Connecticut.