LANSING, Mich. (June 9, 2017) – On Wednesday, the Michigan House passed a series of so-called “constitutional carry” bills that would make it legal for most people in the state to carry a firearm without a license, and foster an environment hostile to federal gun control.
A coalition of Republicans introduced a series of four bills on March 28 (HB4416, HB4417, HB4418, HB4419). Taken together, the legislation would eliminate licensing requirements for carrying a concealed weapon in the state. The bills would also reduce penalties for certain violations relating to carrying a firearm.
The legislation would maintain a conceal carry licensing process in Michigan. This will allow residents who want to carry a concealed firearm in other states that have reciprocity agreements with Michigan to obtain a license for that purpose.
The central bill, HB4416, passed the House 59-49. The other three bills passed by similar margins.
Rep. Michele Hoitenga (R-Manton) is one of the cosponsors. She told MLive it is important to pass the legislation in order to protect basic rights.
“People who can legally own a gun should have every right to carry a concealed pistol without jumping through bureaucratic hoops and landing on a list.”
While constitutional carry bills do not directly affect federal gun control, widespread passage of permitless conceal carry laws in states subtly undermines federal efforts to regulate guns. As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, a federal regulation becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway. The federal government lacks the enforcement power necessary to maintain its ban, and people will willingly take on the small risk of federal sanctions if they know the state will not interfere. This increases when the state actively encourages “the market.”
Less restrictive state gun laws will likely have a similar impact on federal gun laws. It will make it that much more difficult for the feds to enforce any future federal gun control, and increase the likelihood that states with few limits will simply refuse to cooperate with federal enforcement efforts.
State actions like passage of these Michigan bills would lower barriers for those wanting to the option of defending themselves with firearms and encourages a “gun-friendly” environment that would make federal efforts to limit firearms that much more difficult.
All four bills will now move to the Senate for further consideration.