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  • Marki Wilber

Concealed weapons in schools? Bill points the way

In early October, a bill was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee that would allow concealed carry of weapons in gun-free zones. Senate Bill 442 allows concealed pistols in gun-free zones including, but not limited to, classrooms, hospitals, day cares and churches. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill 4 to 1.

Supporters of the bill are saying that concealed carry will prevent future acts of violence and potentially lower our overall crime rate. There have been some recent news stories that shed a positive light on concealed carry. For example, the concealed pistol license holder in Battle Creek who used his concealed pistol in self-defense to protect him and his father from Craigslist burglars.

As the bill is debated, Senate’s Democrats have announced plans for gun control reforms that would strengthen the background check system and tighten regulations on illegal gun purchases.

Daniel Webster, director of the John Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, says whether it’s concealed or open carry, there is no solid evidence that having a gun leads to a better outcome in a situation such as a mass shooting.

A group called “Moms Demand Action” has been rallying against the bill since it was approved by the state judiciary committee. Members are saying that guns have no place in schools, or gun-free zones.

Junior Brad Przedwojewski, an avid hunter, sees many positives when it comes to the passing of Senate Bill 442. “I think that students and professors alike will feel more secure due to the fact that potential shooters will be deterred from the simple fact that people will be armed and able to fight back,” Przedwojewski said.

Lawmakers are countering many arguments by saying that retirees like probation officers or retired correction officers with guns would pose no threat because they already had the proper training on how and when to use the weapon.

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Phil Reed does not think this bill will have any impact on small colleges like Olivet College or its students. Although schools can have strict bans against weapons on campus, the state law trumps any rules or regulations that schools put in place.

The bill has been accepted from the Judiciary Committee and is now on its way to the second reading from the Full Senate. If the Full Senate approves of the bill it will then get passed onto the third and final reading which is the entire house.

Concealed Pistol License Process in Michigan

  • Applicant files their application with the county clerk in the county in which they reside.

  • This includes a certificate of completion of the pistol safety training course, and a passport quality photo.

  • Applicant pays a $105 fee to the county clerk

  • Applicant gets receipt for payment and takes it to a law enforcement agency to have fingerprinting done

  • Michigan State Police process finger prints

  • The license will be issued or denied within 45 days.

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