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Is That a Pistol In Your Pocket or Are You Just Glad to See Me?

May 17, 2017

The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday held a session to discuss a 4-bill package, including one bill (HB 4416) that would like the prohibition on concealed carry without a license for all but those who are already prohibited from carrying a firearm by state or federal law. 


Rep. Michele Hoitenga testified that the legislation does not eliminate background checks or gun free zones currently codified under state law. Gun owners without a concealed pistol license would also not have reciprocity with most other states. 


"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. 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."


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. 


Another hearing will be held before the Committee considers a vote on the proposal.