Industry-captured lawmakers in Michigan pushed through a bunch of laws to hand out goodies to lobbyists in the lame duck session. One bill they were busy rubber-stamping might not have gotten any attention, but for Connecticut:
An apparent loophole in a gun bill passed during the Legislature’s lame-duck session means public schools would not be able to stop licensed gun holders with advanced training from carrying guns on school property in Michigan. Senate Bill 59 was passed late Thursday by the Republican-controlled Legislature and is on the desk of Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, who is mulling whether to sign or veto it.
The bill was intended to clarify that “open carry” of guns is not permitted on school properties, while allowing people with concealed pistol licenses and advanced training to carry concealed pistols in places where they normally couldn’t, such as schools and public arenas.
But the law also was intended to include opt-out provisions for schools and other protected places that don’t want any guns, concealed or otherwise — on their premises.
The bill says a private property owner may prohibit an individual from carrying a pistol, concealed or otherwise, on premises listed in Subsection 1. The list in that subsection includes, schools, along with bars, sports arenas and public or private day cares. But public schools don’t have private property owners, so public schools arguably would not be able to use the wording in the legislation to prevent someone with a handgun carry permit and advanced training from carrying a weapon on school property.
Michigan lawmakers (or, the lobbyists who wrote the bill) were careful to protect private property owners from weapons on their premises, but they somehow missed public school children. These are the same folks who want to put guns in your elementary school. Lobbyists for responsible gun owners. Notice the care and elaborate attention to safety they use when pushing laws dealing with their weapons around your children.
So. Who are these concealed carry permit holders that the Michigan governor and lawmakers are inviting to come armed into (public) elementary schools? Are they “responsible gun owners”? Well, we don’t know, and we won’t be able to find out. The Michigan concealed carry permitting and record-keeping system is a mess. The law was written to protect gun owners, not the public. Michigan is a “shall issue” state, where gun boards must approve applicants who meet certain requirements:
Ten years after Michigan made it easier to carry concealed guns, its mandatory process for reporting who has the permits — and who had them taken away — is a shambles. Records are incomplete. Compliance by counties is spotty. Convictions for crimes go unreported. It’s against the law, but there is no penalty.
Those findings stem from an investigation by Booth newspapers into how well officials across the state are complying with mandates to inform the public whether concealed pistol holders are responsible and law-abiding.
That the information cannot be trusted is a blow to the law’s backers.
“We wanted those statistics to prove to the naysayers that what we did was right,” said state Sen. Mike Green, primary sponsor of Michigan’s “shall-issue” concealed license law.
The records are supposed to detail the number of licenses issued and revoked in every county, the number who violate the law, and the judicial outcome. Reporters also interviewed license holders, law enforcement, firearms trainers and state and local record keepers.
Confusion reigns. In some instances, licenses were reinstated after convictions when they were supposed to be revoked. Ottawa County revoked just one license in nine years because of a procedural misunderstanding. Countless other cases are unaccounted for, either because county licensing boards are not notified of the outcome of criminal charges, or they neglect to take action. Revocations are not completed, so they never show up in public reports.
How deep the problem runs is anyone’s guess. Many records are kept secret, and the state has not audited whether the process is working. Meanwhile, the number of permit holders is skyrocketing.
That ended 10 years ago this week — July 1, 2001 — when Michigan joined a growing number of “shall issue” states where gun boards must approve applicants who meet certain requirements.
More than 50,000 permits were issued the first year. License holders now stand at more than 270,000, double the number five years ago. The new law required their identity be kept secret. But lawmakers also assured the public they would be kept informed of gun bearers’ behavior.
The law required annual reports detailing how many permits were approved, whether any recipients ran afoul of the law, and what happened to them. So what happens when county prosecutors or clerks violate the law?“ Nothing,” said Theresa Hart, an analyst with the State Police Firearms Records Unit. “There was no penalty written into the law.”
After Connecticut, incredibly, lawmakers are working hard to increase the risk to public school children in Michigan. They know the concealed carry permitting system is a mess. They’re aware of it. They say they will reform the permitting and reporting process, although they haven’t done anything about it for the last ten years. Yet, they’re recklessly sending people with concealed weapons into public schools.
I would urge anyone who is listening to the media celebrity/Republican push to put armed people into elementary schools to take a good, hard look at how lobbyists have gutted gun laws. “Licensed” may not mean much. We don’t know what it means. They haven’t kept records.
Michigan is the wing nut dream right now. This is the GOP. Union breaking, democratic government coup-ing, and children killing are their focus. I propose referring to the Sandy Hook shooter as the sponsor of this bill or Wayne Lapierre. Ignore Adam what’s his face, and let his name pass on.
Is there any chance the governor will do the right thing and not sign this bill?
Why do they hate our children?
I’m growing increasingly worried about Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. They seem to have dispensed with the charade of “democracy” and are going whole hog on outright Wingnut exclusion.
Is there anything we can do to stop these nuts in these three states?
I’m specifically afraid of what seems the inevitable attempt to apportion Electoral Votes by congressional district, thus sending these three states into the R column in 2016.
“An apparent loophole”? All these bills are written in a central NRA/Koch brothers clearing house for distribution to every state. If it is in there, it is not a mistake. It is there by design.
The NRA has only 4 million members. In my dreams, a concerted effort on the part of progressive goups could take over the NRA by flooding it with an additional 5 million progressive members, and turn it back into a gun safety group instead of the muli-headed Hydra it has become.
I know its only a dream.
@ppcli: Yes, that is what ALEC is all about.
How in the hell did this bill get this far, where it was up to a newspaper to point out that they left kids unprotected? Guns don’t belong in schools. Custody disputes, substance abuse, schools deal with these issues NOW. They’re going to add people wandering around with guns to the mix? A concealed carry permit doesn’t mean jack shit.
Are they insane? How could they be this reckless with children?
@arguingwithsignposts: Because they send their children to different schools?
Ridiculous, but hardly surprising.
@Kay: Note: Michigan already let people carry their guns into schools. They just had to do so in an “open carry” scenario. This just extends that to concealed carry as well.
Still just as stupid.
Politically speaking, I don’t view Sandy Hook as a chance for a turn around. Our attention spans are way too short. I do think that this event allows for a change in trajectory and speed on issue of better gun regulation.
Unfortunately, there are folks in Michigan and many other places who will not be moved. Yet. More of them will come around as this tragedies pile up, and until high capacity weapons are extremely difficult for the general public to obtain, these mass shooting events will continue apace.
Bullshit. The results they got were precisely what they wanted — a huge step toward total gun freedom/gun anarchy. Why, if the law actually worked as written, some fine upstanding Fox-watching citizen might not be able to walk around strapped merely because he used to knock around his ex-wife now and again. Can’t have that!
I believe it was somebody here who pointed out that Ron Paul thinks that a business owner should not be able to keep you out of his business because you are carrying a gun, but he does think the same business owner should be able to keep you out because you’re black.
Allowing people to wander around a school carrying a concealed weapon is insane. Have you been in a court lately? You cannot get anywhere near a judge (even a strict 2nd Amendment ‘constitutionalist’) without walking thru a metal detector. Why are the PUTTING guns in schools? I have no earthly idea why someone, anyone, wants to carry a concealed weapon into a school, and either do they. They won’t put judges at risk but they’ll let second graders fend for themselves, take their chances around an armed person? That’s CRAZY.
It would be interesting to know what percentage of gun crimes are committed by people with concealed carry permits.
That way we might be able to know whether there is an actual problem or not.
Forum Transmitted Disease
He will sign it. I’d bet any amount of money on that.
It was my belief after the Supremes overturned DC’s gun control law that they should have banned metal detectors the next day and sent the DC police around to every federal building to impound them.
Actually the bill revokes open carry. Only CCW permit holders are allowed to carry at schools now.
We need to realize right- wingers have embraced MAD from the Cold War as the model for interpersonal relationships in society.
Culture of Truth
John Boehner just gave a statement announcing that while he hopes to reach an agreement the President who is being very mean, his “Plan B” is to totally cave to Obama. LOL.
Forum Transmitted Disease
@Kay: Oh Kay, there’s a reason for their madness, and it ought to be obvious to you. It ought to be obvious to everyone. Answer this question and it all will become clear:
Would you let your child go to a public school that allows this?
Of course not. I wouldn’t either. Teacher’s union and tax problem…solved.
Well, it would be interesting, but your buddies there in the responsible gun owners community made sure we wouldn’t find out. That’s an infringement on their “rights”. Now they want to bring their guns into our schools. We have no idea why any one of them, individually, might want to do that, but we’re just going to take their word for it that they’re well-intentioned.
In the upcoming legislatitive push at the federal level, why not make carrying a weapon on school grounds a federal offense and outlaw the right to concealed carry?
It’s crap like the MI “system” that puts the lie to the Teabaggers’ whining about “local control”. 50 different systems exist for gun laws in this country. Wipe them all out with strong federal restrictions.
We just put an elaborate new security system in the county courthouse. It replaces the system they put in 5 years ago. The strict 2nd amendment constitutionalists have a workplace that’s safe as houses. I’d oppose it, I think they should have to live the dream they put in place, but that would put sane, responsible judges at risk, and we need all of them that we can get.
Has anyone proposed allowing open carry in the US Supreme Court yet?
*Please note this is not a threat of implied violence against anyone in the judicial branch it is a question about the intellectual consistency of folks like Alito, Scalia and Thomas.
@GregB: Yeah, you’d think Justice Scalia would be demanding to live in the open carry paradise he created for the rest of us. Why let elementary school kids enjoy all the freedom?
They’ve gutted federal law, too. They haven’t been able to loosen regulations dealing with denying violent (former) felons guns, but only in those cases where the felony was a federal offense.
“Licensed” doesn’t mean what people think it means, in practice.
Picture George Zimmerman. Now picture George Zimmerman, carrying his gun in your child’s school.
Yep, this law’s a real winner!
@Kay: not to forget that this lot has a signifigent overlap with the lot that refuses to credit any evidence of global warming, poo-poos evolution, and statistically was sure that Romney would win in a landslide. Their asking for evidence is can-kicking, hoping for amnesia to set in so these latest bodies can be swept into amnesia to join all the others. They know in their hearts that so long as it’s legal, no action by a gun can be regrettable — they were sure these guns were illegally obtained, just as they’re now sure that no one with a permit can have evil in his soul. Increased legality automatically means less things to be regretted.
Sure they do. Because maximalist gun policy is best for gun manufacturer profits. So the gun manufacturers have spent decades funding and caring for the NRA to have a small group of very vocal gun policy maximalists that they can point to to say “these people vote and they love guns” while handing campaign contributions over to politicians. Because if you can deliver votes and money, you get your way in the USA.
Now why do those NRA members want this? Because they’re chock full of privilege. They think that it is their God-given right to carry their weapon anywhere that they want to and nobody should be able to make them put it down. You know that it grates on them here in Ohio that private property owners can determine whether or not a gun owner can bring a gun into their establishments – and most of them have decided to say “no guns”. That makes the privileged gun nut sad – because God gave him that gun and how dare someone say that they can’t have it! And they will find all kinds of ways to justify their security blanket. And if that means justifying it by saying that elementary school teachers should be loaded for bear and trained like Navy Seals before they enter the classroom, then so be it! If that’s what it takes for them to have their precious, precious gun strapped to their bodies at all times then that’s what it takes.
Yup. There’s the delusional wanna-be cops, but there’s also people with a rage on about a custody battle or a substance abuse problem or some perceived slight by the school, or a dispute with another parent. They’re willing to run this armed militia experiment in an elementary school. THAT’S how much they care for your kids. The danger never occurred to them.
In my fantasy world, I’d pay a young-ish black man in a hoodie with the above “advanced training” to carry a holstered 0.45 (or similar large gun) onto school property. Watch the ensuing freakout (and it would be epic), then watch all the legislators fall over themselves repealing this.
I went to a continuing legal education class yesterday. The speaker was a psychologist we hire to do never-married parent evaluations for the court system. He believes his job gets more and more dangerous every year, because everyone is armed. He no longer conducts evaluations in his office. He does them at the courthouse, in the law library, because he wants folks to have to walk thru a metal detector. It’s high conflict work, dealing with young, never-married parents who are fighting, and he’s scared. He’s the calmest person in the world, but he’s scared.
@Forum Transmitted Disease:
The reason people want to carry guns to schools is a crazy sense of paranoia that makes people think they need to be armed to be secure.
Puts a parent-teacher conference in a whole new light, especially considering the number of parents, who stick up for their kids against teachers these days.
Not really. His “backup plan” is to extend the cuts to everyone with incomes of $1 mill or less. Obama’s is $250K (which he self-neggy’d to $400K). That’s a significant difference in numbers. That’s almost like he said his Plan B was proposing all Republican requirements.
Oh hell yeah. I teach on a college campus, so yeah. Lately almost every day I wonder if this is going to be the day when it all goes pear-shaped and we have a mass shooting. Or a student shows up at my office upset about a grade with a gun.
I love how gun owners have set this up as THEM patrolling schools to protect children. Are they really that fucking dumb? That naive? That insulated from the real world?
It never occurred to them that someone might want want to carry a concealed weapon into a school to do harm? Jesus Christ. This isn’t brain surgery.
@gene108: As a parent, I would refuse to enter the building for P-T conferences if I know other parents in the building were strapped. I’d demand a neutral, gun-free setting to talk to my kid’s teacher. I suspect I wouldn’t be the only one.
And I cannot imagine the teacher trying to be honest with an hysterical helicopter parent clearly displaying his/her firearm.
The Moar You Know
@gene108: As some of you may know, my wife’s a high school teacher. While this is a concern of hers (and your analysis of new dynamic of the parent-teacher conference is spot-on, by the way) she considers it far more likely that if she’s shot, it will be by a student rather than a parent.
I’m furious, by the way. I run pretty much zero risk of being the victim of violence in my workplace. Her risk is sky-high, not just guns but physical assault in general. She’s already had a student try to rape her (big mistake on that student’s part), and another try to burn down the building while she and her kids were in it. Funding for police on the district’s campuses was killed totally about five years ago, and the number of “campus supervisors” was slashed from five to one. This for a high school of well over 1500 students, in a district with an exceptionally liberal school board and tons of money.
Don’t worry, Kay, whidby’s buddies have the solution: we’ll just have 11-year-olds carry their own gun to school every day so they can defend themselves. Problem solved.
@Kay: I’m not sure what you’re talking about here. It’s pretty common after a shooting to read that the shooter did/did not have a concealed carry permit.
Zimmerman for example.
@Mnemosyne: once again, you are just making things up.
You have a link to the post where I demonstrated that you are dishonest and/or delusional.
Please refer to that for why its pointless to engage you in a discussion.
Also, I’ve asked you three time to just leave me alone. You’re getting creepy and stalkerish.
@whidby: We have a real problem because concealed carry destroys the social contract. Open carry does, too. “An armed society is a polite society”. I’m sure you’ve heard that one before.
Oh? Did you not read the above post at all?
Reading comprehension fail.
@Joel: do you mean you think it would be better if people walked around with a six shooter strapped to their hip in open view? I’m not sure about that.
You don’t have any idea how many shooters had a concealed carry permit, and either does the state of Michigan. You don’t have any idea why any person wants to carry a concealed weapon into a school, and either does the state of Michigan.
Nice that you’re so cavalier with other people’s children, though. It would be “interesting” to find out some information on concealed carry permit holders, but we’ll go ahead and put them in schools and let the kids sort it out, right? Can you tell me why you’re willing to conduct this libertarian fantasy experiment in a public school?
@Whidby: I think it would be better if the only people carrying guns were 1) cops 2) soldiers 3) people who had tacitly agreed to carry guns in each others’ presence, such as hunters and people at a shooting range.
For those that carry guns illegally, see (1).
@NonyNony: @NonyNony. Understood, but that’s not the only state, nor the only source of data.
@Joel: okay understand what you are saying now. I don’t live in a concealed carry state so I don’t know what it’s like to live where people might be legally carrying concealed weapons. I know what it’s like to live in states and bad neighborhoods where people might be illegally carrying concealed weapons.
Don’t “protect” my children at school. Do me a favor. Leave us alone.
I didn’t hire you, I don’t know who you are, and I don’t want you invited to come into their school carrying a concealed weapon.
“Protect” your own kids. Leave mine out of your fantasy.
You might want to take a breath here. I don’t have any idea why you think I am a proponent of any fantasy experiment.
Accusing people of being “cavalier with other people’s children” without any basis doesn’t increase your credibility.
@Whidby: So your fear is supposed to trump my children’s safety? Is that the deal? Because you’re a coward?
Look sunshine, I realize that you’ve got the same fetish mentality as the assholes we mock here, but a gun is not a surrogate for personal courage. If you need a gun to make you feel safe, then perhaps you need to get a life coach or something to teach you some confidence.
Bad argument. At some level, people curtail their individual pleasures for the greater good. We’ve done it with second hand smoke, for example and drunk driving.
How many people, who drive drunk actually cause or are involved in an accident?
I bet the overall percentage is relatively low. The penalties for driving after a couple of drinks is pretty high, if you are caught.
We’ve made drunk driving a public safety issue, because the chances of a drunk driver causing an accident are higher than a sober driver and we share public roads.
At some point, as a society, we can either decide a person’s individual pleasure needs to be curtailed because it betters the greater good or we can let people do what they want and have God sort them out.
I think most gun owners favor the latter, because they don’t want to concede the enjoyment of their hobby versus what would be better for overall public good, which is that fewer guns means fewer gun related crimes, suicides and accidental deaths.
Whidby is a fluttery eyelash passive agressive who popped up in order to deflect conversation, not trying to convince, but trying to herd conversation into safe eddies, up to and including the princess play of accusing any not “permitted” by her to respond to her posts of “stalking”. Profoundly unserious, profoundly uninterested ni contributing to anything but the unthinking maintence of the status quo, she is a self-annointed VIP troll in tiara.
The Moar You Know
@whidby: Maybe to you. I don’t really give a shit. I don’t want people carrying in public – open, concealed or strapped to their fucking foreheads.
I have a better idea. Let’s ban guns and then see what happens to gun crimes.
@Whidby: What you don’t know could fill the fucking Pacific Ocean.
I would really suggest ignoring whidby and going where the conversation takes Balloon Juice, without whidby’s distractions.
And that is what whidby is doing.
Throw out a comment, and then feign outrage at the reaction it garners and claim “there must be something wrong with you that you think I said that.”
Whidby pulled that on Kay — Kay! — with comment 52.
Ignore this fool, and let whidby find a different catbox to fling poo in.
True, but I think the better analogy is that legal alcohol is to drunk driving as legal guns are to gun crime. I don’t know where concealed carry fits in there.
There are reasonable regulations on alcohol, but few people call for prohibition to deal with drunk driving.
@Jerzy Russian: I keep hearing that Snyder is “anti-gun”. Granted, I hear that from “pro-gun” people who are prone to the paranoid fantasies that are all-too-common in that group. (To give some context on these people: they also hold that Snyder is “not conservative” and Obamacare is “socialism”)
So… don’t hold your breath.
So their brilliant idea is to make it so that if this happens again the shooter will be able to legally enter school grounds with a weapon. Since these mass shooters tend to not have criminal records and use legally acquired weapons, anywhere this kind of proposal is enacted is an invitation to come shoot up a school.
Please remember, this is all happening during a lame duck session. Its really cowardly and opportunistic. Governor Snyder must not win re-election after this stunt of his and his fellow Republicans..
Snyder ought to also be told that if he signs this, he will be held personally responsible for any deaths of schoolchildren due to gun violence in Michigan public schools. There must be some way to sue this bastard.
No one’s forcing you to read my comments, sunshine. Install the pie filter if you don’t want to read them, or just walk on by.
ETA: I’m wondering how many other people noticed that you were complaining about a comment that wasn’t even addressed to you. I’m guessing everyone.
@Kay: Yes, that was my first thought: the angry dad whose exwife has a restraining order and won’t let him see the kids because she thinks he’s dangerous. He strides into the school with his gun and demands to see them.
I don’t see why the person who would take a gun to a school for the purpose of doing harm or making threats would be deterred from doing so by the fact that they don’t have a concealed carry permit. It seems like the more likely risks are that someone who didn’t set out with the intent to do harm pulls a weapon in the heat of the moment, or that a kid gets hold of a gun (especially if it’s the teacher carrying).
@Wag: I find it cutely naïve ho you think that the NRA leadership will allow it’s members to vote on a subject they don’t agree with. I guess that the North Korean ruling party has a better sense of democracy than the NRA.
Snyder just vetoed Michigan’s crazy-ass gun bill.