Michigan today is still waiting for Governor Rick Snyder's decision on a bill that would allow concealed guns in places where you cannot take them now, like schools, daycare centers, churches and stadiums. Michigan Republicans passed the bill on Thursday, the day before the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. As he considers whether to sign or veto the bill, Governor Snyder has cited his own narrow miss with a school shooting back in 1981 as a personal experience that shapes his thinking.
The bill passed in an avalanche of 282 bills during the lame duck session. In that haste, it appears the gun bill may have passed with a surprise loophole. The idea was supposed to be that facilities could still ban concealed weapons, but the legislation is unclear on whether publicly owned places like schools could opt out. Meanwhile, supporters of the measure are using whatever leverage they can, including reminding the governor that the old law lets people carry guns openly in schools, and the new law does not. From MLive:
Rob Harris, spokesmen for Michigan Open Carry Inc., predicted the practice [of open carry] will become more common if adults cannot protect their children and themselves discreetly.
"He has a choice to make," Harris said of Snyder. "He can either allow people to continue to carry openly in those areas or he can sign the new law that would force people -- with the proper permits and extra training -- to carry their firearms concealed."
Either way, the gun folks are saying, they're bringing guns to school in Michigan. On a related note, since the shooting in Connecticut, gun store owners around Detroit are reporting quintupled sales. Snyder has until December 27 to decide about the bill. If he does nothing, the measure would be pocket vetoed.
UPDATE: The bill's sponsor says Snyder will veto the bill. Republican state Representative Mike Green says the Snyder administration asked lawmakers on Thursday night to tighten the loophole about public schools, the same loophole that has since been described as surprising. From the Detroit News:
"They told us Thursday night he'd veto it if we didn't include that language," said Green, who says he refused to concede to the governor's demands. "We just said 'enough's enough' and we passed it."