Michigan Legislature Approves Gun Permits For Domestic Violence Offenders

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I’m not against gun ownership by any stretch of the imagination.  I’m against irresponsible gun ownership, especially those actions that put innocents in danger.  The recent action by the Michigan legislature to approve Senate Bill 789 is irresponsible at best.

The Detroit Free Press reports:

Among the controversial provisions of Senate Bill 789 is one that says concealed weapons permits must be issued, even to persons subject to personal protection orders for domestic violence or stalking, provided they would otherwise be eligible for a permit and a ban on obtaining a gun is not a condition of their personal protection orders.

Advocate groups for domestic violence victims are understandably upset that a perpetrator of domestic violence or stalking could so easily obtain a gun permit under this bill.

“Putting firearms in the hands of domestic violence perpetrators is dangerous; removing commonsense protections is dangerous,” said Kathy Hagenian, executive policy director for the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence in Okemos.

The coalition “would very much like the governor to veto it,” Hagenian said.

Predictably, the bill passed in the wee hours of the morning, around 5:00 AM on December 19th.  Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, refused to vote for a much needed road funding package unless the House passed his gun bill, which the senate had passed earlier in the day.  Green initially stated he wasn’t aware of the provision that would allow those under active PPOs to obtain gun permits.  He’s the sponsor of the bill!  Oh, yeah, the NRA helped Green write the bill.

Plus, there’s this:

that’s not what the bill says, and the provision opposed by Hagenian was highlighted in legislative analyses of the bill going back to November.

After checking with his office, Green said some gun rights groups felt the existence of a PPO by itself should not exclude someone from getting a permit, provided no firearm restriction is part of the court order.

Green also stated that those concerned about this provision “can make a mountain out of a molehill.”

The bill also changes the issuance of gun permits from counties to the state, reduces the maximum processing time, and reduces the application fees, among other things.



In opposition to the bill was State Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor:

“it’s already very easy” to get a concealed weapon permit in Michigan, and the bill eliminates “very limited checks and balances, which I thought were a good thing.”

The bill sits on Governor Snyder’s desk, waiting for a signature.  A spokeswoman for the governor says he’s “studying” the bill.

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