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Michigan takes on the issue of guns in churches

DETROIT, November 8, 2017 —  Following the tragic mass shooting in a Texas church. The idea of allowing guns in churches has hit the Michigan State Senate. They approved legislation that allowed the public to conceal carry handguns in places such as schools, churches, daycare centers, bars and sports venues.

The Senate approved the bill 25-12, with state Democrats objecting to the bill. State Senate Majority Leader Republican Arlan Meekhof said the time is right to have responsible armed gun owners in places that were previously off limits and continue to show to be targets for mass shootings.

The legislation would allow concealed carry holders to receive an endorsement for their licenses exempting them from “no gun zone” restrictions. However, they must prove they have taken a minimum of eight hours of additional training or are a certified firearm instructor.

Private property owners would still have the ability to ban guns on their property. Universities would also still have the right and power to regulate the carrying of guns on their campuses. Those who bring guns into schools, must carry the guns openly.

Democrats fought for several amendments to be added included one that banned people who are on the no-fly list from getting a concealed pistol license. Republicans who control the Michigan State Senate shot down that amendment.

The legislation is now headed to the House, but remains unclear when they will take up the legislation. It’s possible they will review it after the Thanksgiving break. Michigan Governor Snyder has previously vetoed similar legislation in 2012, four days after the horrific Sandy Hook shooting. Governor Snyder has not publicly commented on this new legislation.

While it’s positive that work is being done to slow or prevent mass shootings. Questions remain as to whether now is an appropriate time to debate the issues brought up after the mass shooting in Texas. Americans and politicians need to step back, take a breather and remember those lost in the shooting. They need to remember the victims were someone’s mother, daughter, son, and husband. America needs a time to mourn. I believe three days is not enough time to allow for healing and memorializing those lost. However, as we see each time, politics trumps allowing time for healing.

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