Just hours before the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre that claimed that lives of 26 individuals — among them, 20 children, ages 6 to 7 — legislators in Michigan approved amendments to the state’s concealed weapons law that would allow permit holders to carry firearms into schools, stadiums and even daycare centers, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Under the legislation, as many as 350,000 concealed firearm holders in the state are eligible for training seminars that would allow them to carry concealed weapons into areas that are forbidden to non-trained concealed permit holders, including bars and hospitals.
Permit holders would be allowed to take concealed weapons into the formerly off-limit venues after completing an eight hour training program. Privately owned facilities and schools, however, still reserve the right to prohibit individuals from entering facilities or property while carrying firearms.
The bill also shifts concealed-weapons permits granting away from county gun licensing boards to county sheriffs.
“This legislation has to be passed to at least have a fighting chance against the evil in this world,” Rob Harris, Michigan Open Carry Inc. media director, is quoted by the Detroit Free Press. “If one person — a faculty member or a parent — could legally carry, at least it could have limited some of the mayhem.”
Michigan Prosecuting Attorneys Association President David Leyton is less optimistic about the legislation. “Who in their right mind needs to carry a gun in a school, daycare center or stadium” he is quoted by the Detroit Free Press. “It doesn’t make sense to me and many of us believe in the right to bear arms.”
The bill will now be passed on to Gov. Rick Snyder. Before being signed, a spokeswoman told the Detroit Free Press that the bill will “going through a careful review and analysis.”