michigan gun-free zones
Rep. Beau LaFave (R-Iron Mountain)
(Photo by Wikimedia Commons)

A Michigan lawmaker has introduced legislation that would let law-abiding citizens carry firearms in gun-free zones.

Sponsored by Rep. Beau LaFave (R-Iron Mountain), the measure would allow enable gun owners with concealed carry permits to carry in more areas “for the defense of himself and the state,” including churches, bars, sports arenas, schools and hospitals.

“As it turns out, criminals are ignoring pistol-free zones. I wish that were not the case, but we do not live in a Utopia,” LaFave said in a press release. “If the bad guys are going to carry guns into gun-free zones, I want to give the good guys the legal ability to protect themselves and their families.”

LaFave’s measure—which is part of a four-bill legislative package—would do away with the CPL (concealed pistol license) requirement, allowing legal gun owners to carry anywhere CPL holders can currently carry.

“It’s a disgrace that honest, law-abiding people are required to pay a fee and obtain a license from the government to exercise a right guaranteed in our constitutions,” LaFave said. “It’s time to eliminate undue burdens that have been placed on Michigan gun owners for far too long. We must ensure that lawful people are not prosecuted for exercising a right laid out in the U.S. and Michigan constitutions.”

The legislation would also keep Michigan’s concealed carry permit structure in place, meaning anybody with a CPL can carry in other states with which Michigan enjoys reciprocity. Under the measure, unlicensed individuals would not be allowed to carry a concealed handgun in gun-free zones. Additionally, private entities would still retain the right to deny entry to a person carrying a concealed handgun.

House Bills 4851-54 have been sent to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.

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