A bill that gun-rights advocates say will streamline the process of receiving a concealed-weapons permit also contains a measure that other advocates - for domestic violence victims and women's rights - say could put many Michiganders in danger.
Senate Bill 789 eliminates county gun boards tasked with reviewing concealed-pistol license applications, and transfers that responsibility to county clerks. But one provision of the bill OKs gun permits for those subject to Personal Protection Orders for domestic violence or stalking.
Randy Block, director of the Michigan Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Network, said he has a big problem with that.
"Allowing someone who's really aggressively, and even dangerously, stalking a woman to have a gun just seems like it's moving in the totally wrong direction for a civilized kind of state," he said.
The bill passed in the Legislature in the early morning hours of Dec. 19, the final day of the session. It now sits on Gov. Rick Snyder's desk, awaiting either his signature or his veto.
Gun-rights advocates say the bill will give uniformity to Michigan's concealed-weapon application process, which can take several months in some counties. But Block said this particular provision puts those who already have suffered in additional harm's way.
"We have a responsibility to stand up for people who are not being fairly treated," he said. "It's about a 'right and wrong.' "
The Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence is among the groups urging Snyder to veto the bill, saying there's a strong correlation between firearms and domestic violence and that the measure removes protections that could prevent tragedies.
Information on SB 789 is online at legislature.mi.gov.