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Concealed weapons bill vetoed by Gov. Snyder

"Open carry" dinner held in Detroit
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"Open carry" dinner held in Detroit

Update 4:00 p.m.

Governor Rick Snyder has vetoed a bill that would have allowed people with concealed pistol permits to carry their guns into schools.

The governor says the Connecticut school shootings only reinforced his skepticism about the legislation, especially that schools would no longer be "no-carry" zones.

"It didn’t allow individual organizations to decide they didn’t want guns," said Snyder. "And that’s something that I always felt strongly about, and then this terrible tragedy happened -- and my thoughts and prayers are with the people in Connecticut – and this gives you even more pause."

And the governor says he is concerned that, technically, Michigan still allows people to openly carry guns into schools.

“There is an issue about this ‘open-carry’ that most Michiganders don’t realize, I think, where people can currently under law open carry in any of these institutions, and I don’t necessarily think that’s a good thing,” said Snyder.

Michigan allows people to openly carry firearms anyplace they are not expressly forbidden, but principals and administrators do still have wide authority to control who and what is allowed in a school building.

The governor says he’d like the Legislature to revisit the state's open carry law next year.

3:46 p.m.

It's official.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has vetoed the concealed weapons bill, SB 59, which landed on his desk after Republicans in the lame-duck legislature sent it his way.

The bill would have allowed people with concealed carry permits and extra training to carry concealed handguns into schools, churches, daycare centers and hospitals.

The Governor has been under intense public pressure to veto the bill in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary.

2:41 p.m.

We've heard reports to this effect, and now the Detroit News has the sponsor of the bill saying Gov. Snyder will not sign it:

Gov. Rick Snyder plans to veto legislation allowing concealed weapons in public schools, according to bill sponsor Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville. The bill allowing highly trained gun owners to carry concealed weapons inside public schools was delivered to Snyder's desk Tuesday. "He's not going to sign it," Green told The Detroit News.

Earlier we posted that Snyder has reservations about the bill because it wasn't clear how public schools could opt out.
The News reports the sponsor of the bill refused to put that explicitly into it:

Green said he refused to include language in the bill allowing public school districts and municipalities to still ban concealed weapons for fear that it could be used to overturn the state's firearms preemption law that prohibits local firearms laws from trumping state laws and regulations.

Mark Brush was Michigan Radio’s Digital Media Director. He succumbed to a year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in March 2018. He was 49 years old.
Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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