Constitutional Carry Laws Proposed in Michigan

A crowd gathers at the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday, May 16, 2017 to listen to testimony and weigh in on legislation that would allow people to carry concealed firearms without a concealed pistol
A crowd gathers at the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday, May 16, 2017 to listen to testimony and weigh in on legislation that would allow people to carry concealed firearms without a concealed pistol license. photo from mlive.comweb photo

Michigan lawmakers have submitted a bill that would allow all gun owning residents to carry concealed without a permit, according to this story from mlive.com.

HB 4416 would lift the prohibition on concealed carry without a license for all but those who are already prohibited from carrying by state or federal law, effectively granting Michigan residents constitutional carry.

The bill, part of a four-bill package, is sponsored by Reps. Michele Hoitenga, Pamela Hornberger, Sue Allor, and Tristan Cole, the story says. Hoitenga said the legislation does not eliminate background checks or gun free zones currently established under state law.

"It is currently legal in the state of Michigan for a law-abiding person to openly carry a firearm on their person without any training classes, fees, or state bureaucracy," Hoitenga said in the story. "It only becomes illegal when a person puts on a coat, because the gun then becomes concealed. One millimeter of clothing makes the difference between a criminal act and a legal act."

She also said the legislation would help law-abiding gun owners carry concealed even if they can't afford licensing and training.

"Women, elderly, vulnerable and economically disadvantaged people should not be excluded from concealed carry because they can't afford the fees associated with the permit process," she said in the story.

“Supporters said allowing gun owners to concealed carry without a license would help avoid situations where people make a mistake while carrying or transporting their firearm only to get charged with a felony.

“Critics were concerned the legislation would prove a safety risk and raise legal quandaries, including whether people currently prohibited from obtaining a concealed pistol license would now be able to carry concealed firearms under the bills.”

David Hiller of the Fraternal Order of Police, which opposes the bill, said in the story that it would “basically allows anyone to go out, purchase a handgun, and carry it concealed.”

Proponents of the legislation might say that is the point. A second hearing on the legislation is expected next week, the story says.

There are at least 12 states that currently have permitless carry laws on the books, and the impact in those states has been minimal.