Controversial bill to allow guns into gun free zones heads to Michigan Senate
LANSING, Mich. (SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP) —
The Michigan Senate is closer to passing bills that would allow teachers and CPL holders to carry hidden, loaded guns in schools, daycares, and other gun free zones.
Political Reporter Nick Minock covered the debate.
The Michigan Senate Government Operations Committee passed the bill along party lines on Tuesday night.
The controversial bill heads to the Michigan Senate floor on Wednesday, where Senators are expecting to pass it and send it to the Michigan House for approval.
Two days after the mass shooting in a Texas church that left 26 people dead and 20 injured, Republican Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof wants to take up legislation that would allow people to carry a concealed gun in places like churches, colleges, and sports arenas.
Meekhof said, “I think it's more pertinent that we do it now."
Emily Durbin, a Psychologist at MSU and a member of Moms Demand Action, gave Meekhof an earful.
Durbin said, “This is a terribly dangerous idea.”
Meekhof disagrees, "I think this is a discussion worth having. And now is the time."
Jon Gold said he is tactically trained and has been a firearm instructor for 20 years. He carries a gun, and he supports the second amendment, but he's concerned that college students could be allowed to carry on campus under this bill.
Gold said, “I was a 19-year-old sophomore at Eastern Michigan University. I came home from a late study group one night and the room was dark. And you don't get to pick your roommate in college and my stoned, long haired, drunk, 1980s roommate who had taken drugs before he drank leaped up from his bed and slammed my head against the cinder block wall. Now had he had a gun, we might not be here having this conversation."
Meekhoof pushed back against Gold and others who testified against the legislation.
Meekhof: "You are aware if you are a CPL holder you can carry openly in school?"
Alcohol Tobacco Firearms testifier: "Absolutely and that is a loophole we'd like to see closed."
Meekhof: "There are guns in this room."
ATF testifier: "Absolutely understand that."
Meekhof: "Do you feel less safe?"
ATF testifier: "Yes!"
Meekhof said 98 percent of mass shootings happen in gun free zones, and his legislation would help.
Meekhof said, "Citizens have the right to be free, safe, and secure and to defend themselves."
But would allowing concealed carry in gun free zones really dissuade mass shooters?
There are many unanswered questions about this legislation.
Among them, would Gov. Snyder sign this bill if it made it to his desk?
Gov. Snyder vetoed similar legislation when it made it to his desk shortly after the horrific mass shooting in Sandy Hook.