State Rep. Jim Lower voted along with a majority of his colleagues in the Michigan House of Representatives on Wednesday to approve legislation giving legal gun owners back their fundamental right to bear arms without a government-issued permit.
Lower, of Cedar Lake, co-sponsored the four-bill package, which removes the penalties for carrying a concealed handgun without first obtaining a concealed pistol license.
“Under current law, gun owners can open carry without a permit. To force law-abiding citizens to pay a fee and take a class in order to wear a coat is ridiculous. These bills simply correct this inequity,” Lower said. “People who can legally own guns shouldn’t be forced to navigate government bureaucracy and buy a license before exercising their fundamental right to bear arms for their personal protection. I’m proud to support this simple, common-sense plan that gives lawful people back the freedom they deserve.”
Lower stressed the legislation would not give criminals more access to guns. The requirement that a person get a background check to purchase a handgun will remain in place, and any person currently barred from purchasing a firearm law would continue to be prohibited from carrying a gun.
Under the plan, the current concealed pistol license permitting structure will remain in place to allow Michigan residents an option to obtain a CPL to continue to carry and receive reciprocity in states that recognize Michigan’s permit. A CPL will also continue to allow people to carry openly in certain restricted zones.
House Bills 4416-19 now move to the Senate for consideration.