The Michigan House is headed for another gun battle as some pro-Second Amendment lawmakers want to eliminate any requirements to buy a weapon while others argue that training and licensing is important to protecting the public safety.
It’s shaping up to be a crossfire over this so-called “Constitutional carry” issue.
The state currently has a number of requirements on the Second Amendment. In order to carry a concealed weapon you need training and a $115 license. But proponents of the Second Amendment argue the law does not allow the state to impose those restrictions based on this key constitutional phrase: “gun rights shall not be infringed”.
“The statement is “shall not be infringed” and by licensing somebody are you infringing upon their rights?,” asked Rep. Phil Green. “And if you make somebody pay for it, is it really a freedom?”
Upper Peninsula Republican Rep. Beau Lafave, who has a hunting trophy hanging in his office, wants to allow gun owners to go into day care centers, churches and synagogues, movie theaters and public hospitals without any state mandated training or license.
But Democrat Sen. Robert Wittenberg argues, that could turn Michigan into the wild, wild west.
“People have to be trained,” said Sen. Wittenberg. “They have to understand that these are dangerous weapons. We need to have certain restrictions in place. we are not trying to take their guns away. There needs to be responsible gun ownership and without that, it could be like the wild, wild west.”
Plus, Mr. Wittenberg argues the former conservative chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court said that there can be restrictions on the Second Amendment.
Traverse City Republican lawmaker Sen. Wayne Schmidt is pro-gun rights but… “with that ever sacred right, comes some responsibility, too.”
And would the senator like to see some training, too?
“There is some merit to that,” the senator answered.
Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed a similar bill last year and if this new plan gets to the desk of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, you’d likely see her veto pen as well.