New bill would make concealed carry permits optional

A proposed change to the state's concealed weapon carry law. Some state lawmakers are pushing to make permits optional for certain people.

Law abiding adults 21 and over could carry a firearm concealed without a permit if a bill known as Constitutional Carry currently being considered becomes approved. 

"Currently under Michigan law if you open carry, meaning you just have a gun on you and it's visible," said State Rep. Jim Runestad (R-White Lake). "There's no requirement to have a permit at all. But if you put a coat on, all of a sudden you have to have a permit."

Runestad introduced Constitutional Carry, if it passes the House, then the Senate, it will make its way to the Governor's desk.

"Now you still have to go through the entire process of background check to purchase a hand gun," he said. "So no felons are going to be getting hand guns, people that have been committed to a mental institution and a whole series of different things you can't purchase a hand gun."

Constitutional Carry no longer requires gun safety classes to get a permit, while classes are required for a Concealed Carry permit.

"We do six classes a week here," said William Kucyk, owner Action Impact. "We've been doing it for well over 10 years. What I see here is people that are new to guns, and particularly the carry of those guns, they know absolutely nothing about the law. They don't know where they can and can't carry them.

"How are you going to ensure that people are even aware of the law and what their responsibilities are to carry these firearms."

Runestad says currently six states have Constitutional Carry and while gun safety classes are not required he says the data so far reflects responsible gun practices.

"You also are not required to take the classes to get the permit," he said. "However in the six other states that have already passed this law and eliminated that requirement there has been a bump in people taking the classes. Those that want to know what they are doing and that's the majority still want to know what their rights are, what their limitations are, what their possible responsibilities are."

This proposed bill will move to the Judiciary Committee if it survives it will move on to the House - if approved then proceed to the Senate -then it winds up on the Governor's desk for his approval.

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