On November 13, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R) vowed to veto a bill designed to allow individuals with an enhanced concealed carry permit to carry in numerous public gun-free zones.
This would mean a veto for senator Mike Green’s (R-Mayville) SB 442, which Breitbart News previously reported was designed to allow concealed carry permit holders to carry on college and university campuses for self-defense.
The Detroit Free Press reported that open carry of firearms on university campuses is already legal in Michigan. So Green is using that fact to his benefit as he fights to legalize concealed campus carry. He believes educators who oppose the campus carry bill simply need “to accept that under the U.S. Constitution, law-abiding citizens with CPLs now have the right to carry guns into schools, as long as they are not concealed.” In light of this, he said he is actually “attempting to do [bill opponents] a favor” by legalizing concealment to keep the guns out of sight.
MLive reports that under Green’s bill, persons applying for a concealed permit would pay $20 extra for an “endorsement” that would allow them to carry their gun in many public places currently off-limits to concealed carry. Those places include churches and college campuses. But Snyder indicates that he will veto the bill when and if it reaches his desk, and he points to a veto of a similar bill in 2012 as precedent.
During an interview on “The Steve Gruber Show,” Snyder pointed out that he vetoed the first bill after the heinous attack on Sandy Hook Elementary, adding, “I stand by that decision.”
While a veto at that point may have been politically popular, it was not congruent with the facts on the ground. For example, the Sandy Hook attack took place in a gun-free zone—where the elementary school faculty and staff were defenseless, just as students at Umpqua Community College were defenseless last month. How can a sitting governor stand by a veto that blocks law-abiding citizens the opportunity to be armed so they can defend themselves the next time a criminal ignores the constraints of gun-free zones?
Snyder seems to be basing his decision on whether the elimination of gun-free zones for concealed permit holders will be a preemptive measure—where municipalities have no say—or one that will be structured in a way that gives each municipality final say on allowing concealed carry on campus. He told Gruber, “Unless [the bill] gives local control, yes I would [veto it].”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.