While Mich. Governor Rick Snyder on Tuesday rejected legislation that would have allowed concealed pistols in schools, he approved two other gun-related bills.
Snyder signed House Bill 5225 and Senate Bill 984, designed to “streamline” the gun purchasing process and eliminate restrictions on interstate rifle and shotgun transactions to states contiguous to Michigan.
Under HB 5225, sponsored by State Rep. Paul Opsommer, R-Dewitt, the process of purchasing a handgun is streamlined, allowing a person to obtain a permit to purchase at any law enforcement agency formerly restricted to one’s local police or sheriff’s department.
The bill also extends the time of a gun purchase permit from by 20 days and eliminates the purchase permit requirement for handguns sold through federally licensed firearms dealers.
The second bill, SB 984, allows Michigan residents to buy guns in any state that conforms to the Federal Gun Control Act, not just those states bordering to Michigan.
Snyder said his decision to veto HB 59, the concealed handgun bill, was due to the bill’s failure to let public spaces such as schools, day care centers and hospitals opt out of the new concealed carry provisions.
Under the current version of HB 59, only private institutions can opt out of concealed weapons provisions.
Snyder said he wouldn’t sign the bill until it was altered to address these issues and restrict open carry in such spaces, which currently is legal in Michigan.
“While we must vigilantly protect the rights of law-abiding firearm owners, we also must ensure the right of designated public entities to exercise their best discretion in matters of safety and security,” Snyder said in a statement. “These public venues need clear legal authority to ban firearms on their premises if they see fit to do so.”
The Governor said more thoughtful gun legislation was only a part of addressing the problem if violence in schools.
He called for a “thoughtful review” of efforts to address mental health issues including partnerships between state health agencies aimed to “identify gaps” in mental health services.
“This type of violence often leaves society with more questions than answers,” Snyder said of the Sandy Hook massacre that shook the nation last week. “The reasons for such appalling acts usually are numerous and complex.”