(WLNS) – Governor Snyder today vetoed a pair of bills that would have changed the state’s process for issuing a concealed pistol license. Snyder says the measures did include some reforms he supports, but could have inadvertently increased the risk of violence and intimidation against domestic abuse victims who seek court protection.
“We simply can’t and won’t take the chance of exposing domestic abuse victims to additional violence or intimidation,” Snyder said. “There are certainly some reforms that can improve the way Michigan issues concealed pistol licenses and we support the rights of law-abiding firearm owners, but it’s crucial that we leave in place protections for people who already have endured challenges and abuse.”
The bills would have eliminated the 83-county level boards for issuing concealed pistol licenses. Those administrative functions would have been taken over by the Michigan State Police and county clerks.
If the proposed bills had become law a person who is the subject of a personal protection order could have been able to obtain a concealed pistol license. Under current law, no person who is subject to such an order may obtain such a license.
“It’s about time that Gov. Snyder listened to the calls from the progressive community to veto this dangerous legislation,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan.
The National Rifle Association responded to Governor Snyder’s veto in a statement, saying the association is disappointed.
“Once again, national gun ban groups, led by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, are exploiting the issue of domestic violence to push their extreme agenda,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “The statements being made by anti-gun groups about this bill are factually incorrect. The legislation does not expose victims of domestic abuse to any additional risks of violence. The fact is that this bill would have provided victims of domestic violence increased protections against would-be abusers, while protecting our constitutional rights of self-defense and due process.”
Snyder says he’ll work with the legislature to reform the existing licensing system without putting domestic abuse victims at risk.