Michigan House Passes Bills On Concealed Pistol Licenses

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Members are expected to cast a final House vote on the bill Thursday.

Proponents argue that the legislation protects and upholds Second Amendment rights and scraps what they say amounts to a coat tax: a $100 permit application fee, a fingerprint fee and another $115 every four years to renew the license.

“There are just so many circumstances where good, law-abiding people are getting in trouble and getting criminal records over this, ” Hoitenga said.

During the floor debate, Rep.

Rep. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, said he found that comment ironic because historically gun laws were established to keep black and brown people from owning guns.

"A record number of Americans carry a firearm for personal protection because it is increasingly evident that law enforcement can not always be there to protect us", Catherine Mortensen said.

Jackson said he has heard the reply from GOP colleagues that 18-year-olds can serve in the armed forces, but said he doubts new recruits are given a gun on the first day and told to walk downtown with it in their pocket.

“We are looking at officer safety and community safety because truthfully if we know an individual has a CPL, that actually helps us as far as understanding where the individual is coming from, that theyre legitimate, that they have the right processes in place, ” Koops said.

"I wholeheartedly believe allowing law-abiding citizens to have the same freedoms that criminals already do in this state will make our communities safer", he said.

Michigan's concealed carry permit also is referred to as the "coat tax" by some because a person would need one on them if a coat or jacket falls over their weapon.

"We are incredibly disappointed that lawmakers in Raleigh voted to water down the concealed carry weapons permitting system", she said.

A bill that would allow someone to carry a concealed handgun without a permit in North Carolina is nearing another hurdle. Under current law, misdemeanor offenders can't get a concealed pistol license but can still openly carry and own weapons.

"You should not have to take a special government mandated class in order to carry a weapon".

"These changes are unsafe for our law enforcement and risky for our families", said Rep. Donna Lasinski, D-Ann Arbor. "If you want the responsibility of carrying concealed, you intentionally get the permit".

“I think theres a lot of support in the House and especially when you start drilling down into the details of how this is going to have a positive impact on so many constituents in every district in Michigan, ” Cole said.

The original Republican-backed concealed carry law passed in 2000 and sparked fears by opponents of a spike in shootings - something that did not happen. At that time, supporters said restrictions such as completing training and getting a permit would be prudent safeguards.

House Minority Leader Darren Jackson (D-Wake) agreed, saying it simply doesn't make sense to let 18-year-olds carry concealed handguns without training.

Two bills were approved in 59-49 votes, while the other two bills passed 60-48 and 61-47.

The bills would have to pass the Senate and be signed by Gov. Rick Snyder to become law.

"It could be potentially devastating", he said.