MI: An advancement for gun ouwners? Bill would allow guns in car trunks


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Desertdog
February 8, 2006, 11:59 PM
Bill would allow guns in car trunks
Governor supports efforts to simplify state's current laws

By Derek Wallbank
Capital News Service
http://www.lsj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060204/NEWS04/602040327/1005/opinion

Firearms owners would be permitted to carry unloaded weapons in their trunks, even if they don't have a hunting license, under legislation under consideration in the state House.

Rep. Tim Moore, the sponsor, said many well-meaning people are unintentionally breaking the present law.

"We want to make sure that law-abiding citizens don't face penalties," said Moore, calling it a "common sense bill."


The bill would require that all guns be unloaded "in both barrel and magazine and be carried in the trunk of a vehicle."

Currently, gun owners who are transporting guns must either have a hunting license or be en route to or from a "rifle or target range, trap or skeet shooting ground, or archery range." Violations carry a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $250 fine.

That destination provision makes the law unenforceable, said Sam Washington, executive director of the Michigan United Conservation Clubs. "I could say I was going out to a range, and the officer would have no way of knowing," he said.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm supports the bill and will sign it if it comes to her desk, said spokeswoman Heidi Watson: "It simplifies current regulations."

The bill is before the House Conservation, Forestry and Outdoor Recreation Committee.

Chairman Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, said he expected the bill to sail through committee and pass the House because he and Moore have seen no significant opposition.

"Nobody's come forward to me to say that they're against it," said Moore.

Casperson said he plans to schedule a hearing this month

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