Vetoed Michigan gun bills rebooted, pass first hurdle

Legislation rejected by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder two weeks ago to do away with Michigan’s unique brand of county gun boards for concealed carry permits has new life and is moving forward — with some changes.

The new measure, a two-bill package, does away with the gun boards by transferring most of their tasks to local county clerks and the state police. Gone is controversial language addressing personal protection orders that doomed a broadly similar reform, which had garnered the opposition of gun control groups such as Moms Demand Action and Americans for Responsible Solutions.

“Whenever you try to make changes to legislation of this nature, there’s a whole lot of folks that want less guns, and they’ll look at everything they can to find something wrong that they’re going to disagree with,” Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, told local media Tuesday. “Frankly, I’m convinced that what we did here will give anybody more protection and defense of themselves.”

Senate Bills 34 and 35, which have already picked up some 22 co-sponsors in the 38 seat body, won fast approval from the Judiciary Committee in a 4-0-1 vote with one lawmaker, Sen. Steve Bieda, D-Warren, abstaining.

Like the vetoed legislation, according to an analysis by the Senate Fiscal Agency, the bills would do away with the county gun boards, streamline the concealed carry permitting process, and reduce fees slightly, leaving the state with a true shall-issue practice.

The bill package is now headed to the full Senate where Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, told MLive that the chamber plans to, “move pretty quickly,” on revised legislation.