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New concealed pistol bill clears Michigan House

Feb 25, 2015

Handguns.
Credit user Ben Re / Flickr

The State House has approved legislation that would overhaul the way Michigan approves concealed pistol licenses.

The legislation would abolish county gun boards which approve the licenses. Those duties would go to county clerks with the State Police conducting background checks.

State Representative Klint Kesto, R-Commerce Township, says the gun boards sometimes discriminate against applicants.

“We don’t have psychologists on this board to determine whether or not this person is capable of carrying a firearm, but what we want is just individuals to say, ‘you know what, he doesn’t look right to have a gun.’”

State Representative Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, voted against the bills. He says local officials on gun boards have better knowledge of who in their community is fit to carry a gun.

“The way that we attempt to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill is that we simply ask them on the application, ‘Are you mentally ill?’ And that’s not a very strong check on that particular public policy goal that this Legislature set up,” said Irwin.

Governor Snyder vetoed similar legislation last month, but the bills no longer contain language he worried would put domestic abuse victims in danger.