Michigan Concealed Pistol License Changes Remove Red Tape
Michigan is now closer to eliminating county gun boards that regulate the disbursement of concealed pistol licenses. The Michigan Senate voted to approve a measure that would eliminate county boards and require the Michigan State Police and county clerks to oversee the concealed pistol licensing system. Michigan is the only state in the nation to use county gun boards to regulate concealed pistol licenses.
"LANSING -- Michigan's Republican-led Senate on Tuesday approved legislation that would eliminate county gun boards, shifting responsibility for concealed pistol licensing to county clerks and background checks to the Michigan State Police.
Sponsoring Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, says his proposal would make Michigan a true "shall issue" state for concealed pistol permits by cutting red tape -- and costs -- for an application process that often takes longer than the 60 day limit allowed in current law.
[']We're the only state in the nation left with a gun board, so we believe that it's time to get Michigan into the 21st century,['] Green said Wednesday. [']A lot of the bill is bringing records up to date and getting them online so there's hardly any paperwork.[']
Senate Bill 789 would require the Michigan State Police to take responsibility for background investigations currently overseen by county boards and require county clerks to respond to any application within 45 days after fingerprints are taken. It would also lower the CPL application fee from $105 to $90.
[']It's going to modernize it, bring it up to date and I don't think it's going to have any effect on bad people getting guns whatsoever,['] Green said.
Senate Democrats appeared to disagree. All 11 who were present for Tuesday's vote opposed the bill, which passed the upper chamber in a 24-13 vote and now heads to the state House for further consideration.
[']At a time when tragic shootings are in the news seemingly every single day, the last thing we should be doing is taking away oversight from how our gun licenses are issued,['] said Senate Democratic spokesperson Bob McCann. [']It's absolutely backwards thinking, which is unfortunately par for the course for our legislature these days.[']
State police also opposed the bill during committee testimony earlier this year, suggesting it would have to dedicate at least one-full time employee in each post in order to investigate an estimated 90,000 CPL applicants a year. Fees would not fully cover the $8.4 million cost for 58 full-time employees, according to MSP.
The Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners and the National Rifle Association offered support for the legislation during a March hearing, with the former group noting that current law does not provide penalties for county gun boards that take longer than 60 days to review concealed carry applications.
By shifting responsibility to county clerks and state police, MCRGO executive director Brady Schickinger estimated that [']the wait time can be reduced to two weeks or less in most counties.[']
Republican Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed similar legislation in late 2012 -- just days after a school shooting in Connecticut -- because it would have also allowed trained owners to bring concealed pistols into so-called "gun-free zones," including schools, day care centers and churches.
Snyder wanted to close a loophole that allows gun owners to open carry in those same places. The new legislation focuses only on changing the permitting process for concealed weapons, a move that Snyder had generally supported.
[']We've been working with the state police and the governor's staff on this bill, and we have full confidence he's going to sign it,['] said Green.
Also Tuesday, the House and Senate gave final approval to a package that would keep gun records confidential and exempt from public disclosure laws. Those bills are headed to the governor's desk."