Bill was unanimously passed out of committee today with a
recommendation for immediate effect. However two small technical changes
had to be made, so a conference will be necessary. An amendment
Michigan State Police and the Prosecutors' Association which would have
gutted it was rejected by the committee. I'm sure we'll see it offered on
the floor though so letters to each and every senator are now needed.
Present on the committee were Senators Hoffman (Chair), Bullard (Vice
Chair), Cherry and Koivisto. Senator Dingell, as a former member of the
committee, was also present. All of these senators are extremely pro-gun.
Present in support of the bill were Ross Dyknan for MCRGO, Carol Bambery
for NRA, Dennis Fox for MUCC, and Jackson County Prosecutor John
Present to oppose the bill was Clinton County Prosecutor Charles Sherman.
Prosecutor Sherman stated that this bill would allow criminals and the
mentally ill to carry loaded guns in their vehicles. He was engaged by
Dingell immediately on the constitutional aspect of the current law which
practically denies every non-CCW holder the ability to use their handguns
because it doesn't allow them to legally transport them anywhere.
Mr. Sherman did not see a problem with this and suggested that people just
get CCW permits if they wish to transport their pistols but Sen.
clearly explained that it was impermissible for the state to deny
practical right to use their pistols by requiring every pistol owner to
take a class and pay hundreds of dollars for a course and license
just so they
can lawfully transport their firearms.
In fairness to Mr. Sherman, he also spoke at length about the problems
with the new CCW law and the restrictions on where one cannot now carry,
and he was correct in this regard, but it was germane to the bill
Ross Dykman spoke briefly to the committee to rebut Mr. Sherman's claim
that people would be able to carry loaded pistols in their vehicles
under this bill.
While it would not be a bad thing to allow law-abiding Michigan citizens
keep loaded pistols in their vehicles as other states currently do, that
not the intent or the effect of this law. The anti-gunners are making this
claim now and it needs to be responded to with many letters to every
Senator and the Governor and the newspapers of the state.
Finally, Jackson County Prosecutor John McBain spoke, detailing how a
citizen in his county lost two pistols to the state police simply
because he was
transporting them to a shoot unloaded in a case. The citizen was not
prosecuted since Mr. McBain refused to charge him with a CCW violation but
the State Police refused to return the guns even after Mr. McBain
a motion to the judge requesting that they be returned. The guns were kept
and destroyed by the State Police.
Mr. McBain also outlined a current case where a truck driver was arrested
for having an unloaded gun in a case in the sleeper compartment of his
truck. Mr. McBain is not charging the individual since the weapon was
lawfully owned and inaccessible to the driver but the State Police again
will doubtlessly keep and destroy the pistol.
This bill was voted out to the full senate and it will probably be taken
shortly. Please contact your senator immediately and urge him/her to vote
in favor of HB
5026 AS WRITTEN. The amendments expected from the State Police
and/or the Prosecutors' Association ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE as they will
gut the bill. Also write the Governor and let him know your feelings.
Finally, please write the newspapers and urge passage of this bill. Also
please take a moment to write the Jackson Citizen-Patriot and praise both
Senator Hoffman and Prosecutor McBain for supporting this long-overdue
legislation and for standing up for gun owners in general. Both have
excellent records on our issue and need our support since the anti-gunners
are currently attacking them in the newspapers.
Newspaper addresses are:
The Governor can be reached by mail and phone at:
111 South Capitol Avenue, Lansing, MI 48933
If you do not know how to reach your senator, he or she can be
Please help us pass this bill for you by writing the letters and
making the calls.