Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Michigan Senate Bill 422 : A Sloppy Mess That Takes Away Gun Rights

What is Senate Bill 422?

The bill will create an exemption to concealed carry pistol
Rick Ector
Rick Ector
Rick's Firearm Academy 
free zones (PFZ) in MCL 28.425o. Any CPL holder can qualify for the exemption upon request with no additional training. New and renewal applicants will not be charged any additional fee. Clerks can charge current CPL holders up to $20 for a replacement CPL with the exemption box checked.

The bill would prohibit a person from intentionally displaying (open carrying) a firearm on the premises of a pistol free zone in MCL 28.425o unless the person is the owner or employee of the premises or has the express written consent of the owner. This is the “concealed means concealed” clause with an exemption for express consent on private property. We feel the language in the bill is sufficient to protect people printing or accidentally exposing their firearms.

Private property owners can continue to prevent all forms of carry under Michigan trespass law. Public property will continue to be preempted by state firearms law, meaning that concealed carry with the exemption cannot be prohibited on public pistol free zones in MCL 28.425o.

The bill is expected to be referred to Senate Judiciary Committee next week on July 15. Sen. Green has stated that Gov. Snyder has indicated he will sign the bill. 

The bill bans open carry in all PFZs in MCL 28.425o, not just schools as was in an earlier draft.

From Tom Lambert of Michigan Open Carry.

MOC opposes SB 422 on more than just a ideological level. Obviously we oppose trading open carry for other things, but our opposition goes beyond that. In summary, this bill is a sloppy mess.
Why have an exemption if everyone can get it upon request? Why make people spend the extra time and money if no training or checking is involved. To us it screams of a mechanism to add extra training. Something we know Senator Green has supported in the past.

How about the enforcement mechanism? SB 442 would take something that is currently lawful and make it punishable with a $500 fine and a 6 month license suspension, then eventually all the way up to a 4 year felony. 4 years in prison and the extermination of the right to even possess a gun just for doing something that has been legal since the founding of the state. All without even the intent of doing something wrong.
It has been stated that there is protection for accidental exposure and “printing”. We disagree. The bill reads “shall not intentionally display or openly carry…”. Having just gotten a bill passed where the placement of the word intentionally was very critical, we firmly believe that language to be very dangerous. Remember, it punishes intentional display OR open carry. Not intentionally display OR intentional open carry. Open carriers know that anti-gun prosecutors will use anything they can. (Note: MCRGO is now commenting that they would like better language too)

There is a ton more, but the last thing I will mention is that SB 442 makes it so the acquisition of a CPL would take away a previously ability. Making this change in 28.425o is absurd because it doesn’t match up with other statues. For example, without a CPL, I would be able to OC in an entertainment facility with a seating capacity of 2500+. However, once I obtain a CPL, then I would lose the ability to OC and would only be allowed to CC. The net effect is an actual loss of rights by obtaining a license. I don’t even want to think about how an officer would enforce this. Establishing RAS to detain and investigate someone would be a mine field.

There is a better way forward than this. Even if we wanted to “swap” there is still a better way to go about that. This has to be the worst way conceivable.
How about we just let the gun groups do what they are here to do. The momentum is in our favor and now is not the time to strike.

Rick Ector, of Rick’s Firearm Acadamey in Detroit and strong 2nd amendment advocate said “You don't outlaw Open Carry anywhere and reasonably expect to get to your destination - Constitutional Carry. Contrary to what some people are selling, it is NOT an advance. It is winning a worthless battle to ensure long-term defeat. There is a word for that. It is called a Pyrrhic Victory. Snyder who took a ton of money from anti Civil Rights icon Michael Bloomberg needs this deal; we don't. No deal beats a bad deal any day of the week. Moreover, if the goal is REALLY more guns in PFZs then just ALSO legalize conceal carry in PFZs. OC would still remain legal, more people would be carrying, and less people would OC. We don't NEED this legislation”   He then continued “Myopic: The issue is bigger than merely being able to open carry a handgun in specified locations. The real issue at stake is the end game. Where exactly are we trying to take gun rights in Michigan? If you believe, as I do, that Constitutional Carry is the ultimate aim then you do not restrict or ban open carry today in any place because it will only hurt you down the road when you are trying to get it back. You never give it up in the first place.

If you are an open carry advocate, it is certainly understandable that you will frame this issue from that vantage point. You will make sure that all know that the places where one can legally open carry will be scarcer in the aftermath. However, by not looking at and recognizing and also talking about the larger picture, you run the risk of erroneously being labeled as selfish. You need to also expand the current discussion to include Constitutional Carry. All gun rights advocates - open, concealed, or both - you can reach need to hear it, especially from you.

If you are a conceal carry advocate, folks will try to intellectually seduce you with talk of "baby steps" progress on the subject of gun rights. The pillow talk will follow along these lines: Since the Governor is on the record for agreeing to sign this (awful) bill should it reach his desk, we should take it, proclaim victory, and fight for another day. Lansing's biggest gun rights foe, Virg Bernero, feigned unhappiness on TV a week ago about Snyder's support for this (awful) bill. I saw through that sham performance as soon as I saw his lips moving.
All it would take to make this would-be "progress" materialize is to throw your open carry brothers and sisters under the bus. You'll rationalize it as collateral damage to those fringe guys who you might be told get great joy from scaring babies at schools. However, the joke would be on us. Banning open carry on any level would paint the practice in the media and in the public consciousness as bad. We might not ever recover politically on that issue in the near future to make a run with a new Governor.
I do not buy for one second that the motivation for this (awful) bill is an imminent need for more legal guns in pistol free zones today. Besides, if you need to carry in a PFZ then do so in accordance with current law - openly with a CPL.

In my humble opinion, Snyder knows that the Constitutional Carry movement would be harmed, perhaps irrevocably, if we went down this road of banning open carry in PFZs. As it stands, we only need a pro-gun Governor. Currently, we have a guy who takes money from Bloomberg. Never trust anybody who takes money from Bloomberg. We wait him out. Anything can happen.

If we really need more legal guns in PFZs, then we either need to eliminate them altogether or legalize conceal carry in them - without throwing open carry now and Constitutional Carry down the road under the bus. The Baby Steps Crowd will tell you that Snyder won't sign it. Fine - no deal is better than a bad deal.

The game being ran on us is divide and conquer with a familiar face telling us to take a bad deal because we need a "victory" now. Well, we don't. The status quo is fine if we don't sacrifice the end game. To do that, we keep open carry legal in PFZs with a CPL.

Constitutional Carry is the goal. Never forget that.”

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