Politics & Government
5:13 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Bill allowing concealed weapons in schools approved by House committee

A bill approved by a House committee Wednesday would allow gun owners with concealed weapons to carry those weapons in schools and other formerly “gun-free” zones.

David Eggert from MLive has more:

Michigan now prohibits people licensed for concealed weapons from carrying them in schools, day care centers, sports arenas, bars, places of worship, hospitals, dorms and casinos. They can, however, openly carry their guns in schools and all other places except federal buildings, courthouses and casinos.

The bill would let CPL holders apply for an exemption so they could carry concealed guns in those gun-free zones, though they no longer could openly carry there under the legislation. They would have to get at least eight more hours of training and fire 94 additional rounds at a firing range.

However, private property owners—churches, bars, hospitals and others—would be allowed to prohibit guns from being carried on their premises. Because of their autonomy under the state constitution, public universities also could ban guns.

Public schools—currently gun-free unless someone openly carries a weapon—would have to allow concealed weapons under the bill.

There’s enough uncertainty surrounding the law that a number of state universities have come out strongly against the bill, AnnArbor.com reports.

They don’t want to see loaded firearms in the Big House and Spartan Stadium this coming fall.

Michael Boulus, executive director the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan, said universities are staunchly opposed to the bill. His group represents all 15 public universities in Michigan, including the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University.

"Our goal is a safe and secure environment and we don't believe the bill allows us to advance our goal of providing a safe and secure environment free from threats or acts of violence," he said. "Our state universities are some of the safest places you can be, and this bill, we think, will impede our commitment to the safety and security of our universities."

The bill has already passed the Senate and awaits a full vote of the House.

- Jordan Wyant, Michigan Radio Newsroom