LANSING (WWJ) – It could soon be legal to carry concealed weapons into Michigan churches, schools, hospitals and sports arenas.
A bill that would wipe out most so-called “gun free zones” is speeding through the lame duck legislature, despite some vocal opposition.
Randy Block from the group Michigan Unitarian Universality says the fast-tracked legislation did not get the consideration it deserves.
Block was among several who testified before a House committee Monday morning.
“If it really had the chance to be seriously debated, they wouldn’t come out of committee, but they’re being railroaded through the legislative process this time — and I don’t think that that’s very good for democracy or our citizens,” Block told WWJ Newsradio 950.
“It violates our religious principles that you should try to resolve things with love not hate,” he said. “People believe in peaceful resolution — and bringing a piece is not what we had in mind, I guess you could say.”
The House committee passed the bill on Wednesday. The full House is expected to follow suit, even as clergy members presented lawmakers with thousands of petition signatures from those opposing the legislation.
WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick reports political opponents have called it “another example of this legislature over-reaching,” while sponsors of the bill believe the law will make citizens safer.
Under the new law, people who concealed carry in gun-free zones would have to get enhanced training beyond basic requirements and spend additional time at the gun range. “Open carry” in those areas would remain prohibited.
The state Senate approved the bill last month. It’s not clear of Gov. Rick Snyder plans to sign it.