Michigan House eases penalty for lapsed concealed gun permit

Michigan
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FILE – In this Feb. 27, 2013 file photo Hank Johnson displays his handgun, in Springboro, Ohio. Dealing a blow to gun supporters, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday, June 9, 2016, that Americans do not have a constitutional right to carry concealed weapons in public. (AP Photo/Al Behrman, File)

  
Michigan would ease up on people who fail to renew their concealed pistol permit under a bill advancing in the Legislature.
  
It currently is a felony to carry a handgun on an expired license. Legislation approved 90-19 Friday by the Republican-controlled House would loosen the penalty to a civil fine – as long as the permit had expired within the previous year.
  
A subsequent violation would be a misdemeanor.
  
Supporters say the current punishment is applied unevenly and is too harsh, because people forgetting to renew their license can get a felony conviction and lose their right to possess any firearm.
  
Critics say the proposed change is too lenient in light of the seriousness of carrying a deadly weapon in public.
  
The bill goes to the Senate for consideration next.

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