Rep. Cole, East Jordan man testify before House Judiciary Committee

Categories: Cole News

Bill allows motor carrier officers to continue carrying concealed pistols in retirement

State Rep. Triston Cole, right, is joined by East Jordan resident Steve Kost while testifying Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee.

State Rep. Triston Cole and East Jordan resident Steve Kost testified this week before the House Judiciary Committee in support of legislation allowing retired motor carrier officers to carry concealed pistols into areas where firearms are restricted.

Most retired law enforcement and corrections officers who hold concealed pistol licenses are currently allowed to carry in gun-free zones. Cole’s legislation, House Bill 5320, extends the privilege to officers who retire from the Michigan State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division.

Kost, a retired MSP motor carrier officer, said the tasks of motor carrier officers and state troopers are nearly identical, except for the commercial vehicle enforcement training that motor carrier officers must complete.

“A motor carrier officer is just as much a law enforcement officer as a state trooper, conservation officer or any other law enforcement officer in our state,” Kost said. “The current CPL provides exempt status to retired law enforcement officers in good standing. It also provides exempt status to non-law enforcement individuals, such as private investigators. A private investigator license only requires a college degree in criminal justice, no law enforcement experience at all. They qualifying for the exempt carry CPL, yet retired motor carrier officers are denied.”

Cole said he introduced the bill after Kost reached out about closing the gap in the law.

“I’m glad Steve Kost approached me and that I’m in a position to help him and other retired motor carrier officers receive the same benefits as state troopers,” Cole said. “Motor carrier officers are well trained and often called upon to respond to emergency situations. There’s no reason to prohibit them from carrying in certain areas when they retire. If officers who spend their lives protecting the public are willing to continue looking out for our safety even after they hang up their uniforms, we should let them.”

House Bill 5320 remains under consideration by the House Judiciary Committee.