Governor Snyder vetoes SB59; ensures that colleges continue to allow only criminals to be armed

by Reid K Smith on December 18, 2012

It is with a heavy heart that we report that Governor Snyder vetoed SB59 earlier today. SB59 had previously passed the Michigan Senate by a 27-11 margin and the Michigan House by a margin of 68-41. SB59 would have allowed CPL-holders to take an additional 8 hours of training (for a total of 16 hours) and be granted an Enhanced CPL, which would have exempted the licensee from current ‘pistol free’ zones. You can read more about all the positive changes that SB59 would have accomplished here. Michigan Students for Concealed Carry had supported SB59 without reservations. Despite today’s failure, we still owe our members an enormous thank you for the support of SB59 – it’s only through your support that SB59 was able to make it all the way to the Governor’s desk.

We believe that Governor Snyder vetoed SB59 because he believes that taxpayer-funded public institutions, such as colleges and schools, should be allowed to determine whether or not law-abiding CPL-holders can exercise their rights on those public grounds. Before SB59 was heard in the House, Gov. Snyder demanded that an “opt-out” clause be inserted allowed public institutions to just that – opt-out of what would become the law of the land for all other areas of the state. To his great credit, Senator Mike Green – SB59′s sponsor – refused to add such a provision. Michigan Students for Concealed Carry supported Senator Green’s decision at the time, and continues to do so without reservations. Senator Green is among many lawmakers (find a complete list of lawmakers that deserve a thank you here) that should be thanked for their support of SB59 – now more than ever. We’ll need the support of Senator Green and his allies when we try to legalize self-defense on college campuses in the coming legislative session, so thank yous are essential. 

Today is a dark day for both the 350,000+ Michigan CPL-holders as well as the non gun-owning public. Many of you are upset and in disbelief that we could come so close to accomplishing our goal, only to have our Governor – who professed to support our rights when he asked for our votes – veto such an important bill. There are some silver linings, however. SB59 brought Michigan gun owners together, and taught us all a little more about Michigan’s confusing firearms laws. Many of you may have written your state Representative or Senator for the first time – you learned a valuable skill that, hopefully, you will continue to exercise. Several lawmakers have gone on record to support the removal of ‘pistol free’ zones, and we’re hopeful that these lawmakers continue to support us in the future.

As many of you may know, SB59 would have outlawed open carry in “pistol free” zones in exchange for legalizing concealed carry in those zones. Governor Snyder’s veto will mean that open carry will continue to be legal in these areas, while concealed carry by licensed, trained, CPL-holders will remain illegal. While MI-SCC has absolutely no position on open carry, it’s hard for anyone to justify Governor Snyder’s opposition to that change in law. MI-SCC views Governor Snyder’s continued support of ‘pistol free’ zones as dangerous and unconscionable. You should contact Governor Snyder soon to politely voice your concern with his recent actions. If you feel comfortable, send your emails to us at contact@MichiganSCC.org as well – we’ll post the most powerful letters on our Facebook page or within this blog.

Parents should prepare to continue sending their children to Michigan schools or colleges where the best defense against an armed shooter is to start locking the doors. College students should prepare to go back to classes in January, secure in the knowledge that any criminals they encounter on their late-night walks home will have, at minimum, a police response-time to inflict whatever harm they desire. Finally, criminals can rest easy, knowing that their monopoly on force in Michigan’s college classrooms and dorms is safe – for at least a few more months. 

We hope that you’ll continue to support Michigan Students for Concealed Carry. Please ‘like’ our Facebook Page to stay in touch. Additionally, Michigan Students for Concealed Carry is entirely supported by your donations; please consider donating to Students for Concealed Carry today. If you’d like to earmark your donation for MI-SCC, simply email Donations@ConcealedCampus.org with that request.

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