Republican state lawmakers introduce a bill to exempt elected officials from gun-free zone laws

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Republican State Rep. Gary Eisen introduced legislation to change concealed carry laws in Michigan, including exempting elected officials from laws restricting concealed weapons.

This comes as Democrats in the State House introduce their own bills to add the Michigan Capitol, the Anderson House Office Building, and the Binsfeld Senate Office Building to the list of places where concealed weapons are not generally allowed. That list also bans concealed weapons in schools, daycare centers, houses of worship, hospitals, dormitories, stadiums, and bars.

There is also a list of people immune to that restriction, such as judges, corrections officers, and retired law enforcement officers. House Bill 4006, introduced by State Rep. Eisen on Tuesday, would add elected officials to that list, both during their terms and for two years after they leave office.

If the Democrat bill and Eisen’s bill both pass, the Michigan Capitol would be a gun-free zone, but lawmakers would still be allowed to bring concealed weapons into the building.

State Rep. Eisen also introduced House Bills 4010 and 4011 Tuesday. Together, they would change the penalties for people who bring concealed weapons into gun-free zones, even repeat offenders.

  • Right now, first-time offenders face a $500 fine and a mandatory 6-month suspension of their concealed weapons license. Under the bills, that would be reduced to $250 and no suspension.
  • Second-time offenders currently pay a fine of up to $1,000 and the court must revoke their license. These bills would change the punishment to 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both, and the court would have the option to suspend the license for up to 6 months.
  • A third offense is a felony and would remain so under these bills. However, the bills would reduce the sentence from 4 years in prison to 2 years. The offender’s license would be revoked.

Fellow Republican State Rep. Matt Hall also introduced a bill Tuesday dealing with concealed weapons. House Bill 4003 would reduce the penalty for carrying a concealed weapon with a recently-expired license. Right now, carrying a concealed weapon without a valid license is a felony that could lead to 5 years in prison. Under this bill, as long as the person’s license has been expired for less than a year and they’re still eligible to have one, they would only be subject to a civil fine of $330. If they renew the license within 60 business days, that fine disappears.

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