LANSING (WWJ) – Gov. Rick Snyder has vetoed legislation allowing concealed weapons in schools and other public places — the decision made on the same day new poll numbers showed support for the governor steeply slipping.
Snyder on Monday asked his administration to review school security policies in the wake of Friday’s shooting at a Connecticut elementary that left 26 dead, including 20 children.
WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick said Snyder’s move to kill the bill did not come as a surprise.
“Over the last three or four days, in fact ever since the legislature passed this legislation, the governor’s sort of been backpedaling in interview after interview, saying he had serious concerns,” said Skubick.
“Now the governor is acting on his personal beliefs here. Even though he owns two shotguns and a rifle himself, he is not repeating the mantra from the National Rifle Association which contends that concealed weapons in places like public schools actually is a deterrent to crime,” said Skubick. “The governor says, quote, ‘There is a difference of opinion on that, and I’m not on that side.'”
At a prayer vigil in Lansing Tuesday, Pastor Ben Sandin, with King of Kings Lutheran Church in Shelby Township, said the mass school shooting in Connecticut shows dangerous guns can be. He said weapons have no place in the so-called “gun free zones” that also include churches, day cares, hospitals and sports arenas.
“It’s a shame that it takes something so terrible to happen to get our attention,” said Sandin. “Because these kinds of shootings are not just happening in Connecticut, they’re happening throughout our country and they’ve been happening for years. We need to have some serious conversations for us to move forward.”
Under the bill, 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 be prohibited. Another provision would eliminate county concealed weapons licensing boards, with sheriffs taking over their duties. Decisions on licenses would have to be made within 45 days after an application is filed.
Skubick said we should expect some push-back from the NRA and others who support the concealed weapons bills.
Pollsters at Public Policy Polling attributed Snyder’s apparently plummeting popularity to last week’s signing of especially contentious right-to-work and emergency manager legislation. (More here).