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Governor Snyder not convinced gun laws an efficient use of state lawmakers’ time

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Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Governor Rick Snyder is weighing in on the debate over guns laws going on at the state Capitol. There are a number of new bills related to guns pending. Snyder was asked if he supports any of the proposed changes at events in Grand Rapids Friday.

Not to downplay the importance of gun rights or guns laws, but Governor Snyder just doesn’t think guns in general have a big part in his plan to “reinvent Michigan.” He says lawmakers in Lansing should let the debate over gun control run its course at the federal level first.

“In the meantime we could get a lot done on jobs, infrastructure, education; a lot of important topics. So I would prefer we stay on those topics,” Snyder said.

Snyder says he would consider improvements to the state's mental health system before focusing on changes to its gun laws.

“There’s two or three layers here before I would even think about really making guns as something that I think is a topic that should rise to the top,” Snyder said.

Last month the governor vetoed a bill that would have allowed people with concealed pistol permits to carry guns into schools. He says he’s more likely to support a bill if local officials get to determine whether guns should be allowed “rather than having the state say ‘you have to allow them.”

Snyder says he does not see the value in Michigan challenging the legality of federal guns control laws either.

“My view is, ‘why should you pass something that you know isn’t going to move forward and just end up in a lot of lawsuits for a long time?’ If some other state’s doing that then you can just wait and see what the outcome is and know what the law is and then you can make decisions,” Snyder shrugged.

Legislatures in Wyoming, Arizona, Pennsylvania and a few other states have introduced laws to strengthen gun rights against any federal restrictions. In Michigan, one bill would prohibit federal regulation of firearms and ammunition manufactured in the state.

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station's Enterprise Team. She previously served as Michigan Radio’s Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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