MI Sen. Green reintroducing SB 59 next week


January 25, 2013, 10:05 AM
I faxed the following letter to several legislators this morning:


I originally sent this as an email a number of months ago; I fax a revised version now. *I see that SB 59 is being reintroduced again this session, and Mlive reports this morning, "Lt. Gov. Brian Calley reports if the governor’s objections are addressed, 'the conversation could be opened again to accommodate the reasons the governor vetoed it in the first place'.”

Gov. Snyder's stated reasons for vetoing SB 59 are that a) it made no provision for schools, in particular, and other public facilities to ban carry, and b) he personally objects to the idea of carrying in public because of guilt he still carries related to a 30 year old murder. *

But let's look at what the effect would have been if the language he desires HAD been included:

1) Like it or not, open carry in a pistol free zone (PFZ) is currently legal with a CPL. *Schools and other public facilities (such as the state capital building) cannot prevent someone from carrying in that fashion. *A teacher currently has the right to provide for his or her own defense - and that of their students - by carrying openly at this time if they so choose. *The amendment demanded by Gov. Snyder to SB 59 would have done away with that completely by eliminating open carry entirely and encouraging schools to declare themselves off-limits to ALL carry.

2) While on the one hand SB 59 would seemingly give greater latitude to carry concealed, it also would have given "gunbuster" signs the force of law and actually encouraged more schools and businesses to declare themselves to be PFZ's. *Those of us in the carry community are already dealing with this difficulty - SB 59 actually had the potential to magnify*that difficulty significantly.

3) By mandating nine more hours of class - and the expenses associated with those classes - as a condition for applying for an exemption, we would have only incrementally increased the number of carriers who would have been eligible to carry in a PFZ; the additional cost alone would have been prohibitive for many.

The result? *SB 59 would have had the effect of banning firearms carry in public simply by making it too difficult to carry.**The bill that was being touted as increasing carry would have actually been a trojan horse - stealthily banning carry in public without explicitly outlawing it. *The language demanded by Gov. Snyder in SB 59 (and will demand in the new version of this bill) would have, as a practical consideration, restricted carry and given "gunbuster" signs the force of law. It would have been a masterful stroke of gun control legislation - and no one would have been able to blame the anti-carry community for doing it; pro-Second Amendment legislators would have inadvertently made it possible.

This is why I have been warning legislators about the applicability of the 2012 federal appeals case Woollard v. Sheridan. *Woollard*states that it is unconstitutional to limit the enumerated right to carry simply by making that right more difficult to exercise - by piling on more and more requirements as a condition of exercising that right. *As Judge Legg wrote in his opinion,*

A law that burdens the exercise of an enumerated constitutional right by simply making that right more difficult to exercise cannot be considered "reasonably adapted" to a government interest, no matter how substantial that interest may be….Those who drafted and ratified the Second Amendment surely knew that the*right they were enshrining carried a risk of misuse, and states have considerable latitude to channel the exercise of the right in ways that will minimize that risk. States may not, however, seek to reduce the danger by means of widespread curtailment of the right itself. "[E]ven the most legitimate goal may not be advanced in a constitutionally impermissible manner." Carey v. Brown, 447 U.S. 455, 464-65 (1980).

At bottom, this case rests on a simple proposition: If the Government wishes to burden a right guaranteed by the Constitution, it may do so provided that it can show a satisfactory justification ("satisfactory justification" means that the danger posed by the exercise of a right can be quantified - the data must be objective and quantifiable; a right cannot legally be infringed based on what someone is afraid could or might possibly happen - added) and a sufficiently adapted method. The showing, however, is always the Government`s to make. A citizen may not be required to offer a "good and substantial reason" why he should be permitted to exercise his rights. The right`s existence is all the reason he needs. (emphasis added)

So two issues are at play here.

First, SB 59 would have added another level of difficulty to the Constitutionally enumerated right of firearms carry. *Gov. Snyder's remarks following his veto of the bill make it clear that he personally sees no value in carrying in public places - especially schools. *He was out to make firearms carry as difficult as possible, and when he was unable to get ALL of the restrictive language he wanted included in the bill, he vetoed it. *Woollard says that this approach is unconstitutional because it is*not "'reasonably adapted' to a government interest..."

Second, SB 59 would have outlawed a method of carry that is currently legal, yet at no time has the government enunciated a substantial justification for either doing away with the right to openly carry in public or to limit the right to carry concealed, as SB 59 would have effectively done. *Gov. Snyder saying that he finds no value in it or referring to a murder that occurred 30 years ago, committed by a man who had already violated several existing laws in order to facilitate that murder, does not meet the legal standard necessary to limit the exercise of this Constitutionally enumerated right. *A reason that would have met that standard would have been the publication of objective data conclusively demonstrating that the public is in greater danger from those legally carrying in Michigan because legal carriers commit more crimes while doing so. *As we know, those data do not exist. *The numbers of carriers who are involved in illegal activity of ANY kind, let alone firearm-related illegal activity, in Michigan are statistically ZERO.

Any changes made to the bill to accommodate Gov. Snyder's sensitivities will result in a bill that has the net effect of severely limiting our right to carry a firearm for our own defense at a time when law enforcement across the state is diminishing. *

• Doing away with open carry is simply not an option. *
• Eliminating our current right to carry in public places is not an option. *
• Giving schools and other public facilities the specific legal authority to "ban guns" (to use Gov. Snyder's phrase) is not an option. *
• Giving "gun buster" signs the force of law is not an option. *
• Requiring more class time in order to receive an exemption to carry concealed in a gun free zone while open carry is legal without additional training is not an option. *

Here is what such accommodations boil down to: *at a time in which law enforcement across the state continues to diminish, this is a dangerous idea. *According to information I received in a phone call with the Grand Rapids Police Department's Crime Prevention office in my role as a neighborhood watch coordinator, the average response time to a 911 call is around 18 minutes, and with the expected loss of 17 more officers and the re-deployment of most of the remaining officers to the overnight shift, they expect the response time to lengthen to 20 minutes or more. *That is not protection; that is cleaning up the bodies after the damage has been done. *As to carrying in public places and schools, THOSE are the places where mass shootings are taking place. *Giving these places specific authority to ban firearms has prevented nothing. With a diminishing police force, it is counter-intuitive to tell people that they may not protect themselves wherever they may legally be, and it is dangerous to allow businesses to impose their own beliefs regarding carry as an ineffective means of self defense on the public at-large, as was clearly demonstrated in the mall and theater shootings that occurred last year. *

Britain has been held up as an example of what gun control can do for the country, but while they have successfully lowered the number of firearm-related murders, murders committed using other methods has actually increased, and Britain's overall incidence of violence has increased to the point where it has been declared the most violent nation in Europe (The most violent country in Europe: Britain is also worse than South Africa and U.S. | Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196941/The-violent-country-Europe-Britain-worse-South-Africa-U-S.html)). *The US has an incidence of violent crime of a little over 400 per 100,000 population. *The latest data indicates that Britain, on the other hand, has an incidence of over 2,000 *per 100,000 population; that number has steadily increased in the years that have followed Britain’s own gun ban. *In taking away the citizens' right to defend themselves, they have turned themselves into a nation of victims.

That is exactly what accommodating Gov. Snyder on this issue will accomplish. *It will make legal firearms carry more difficult and it will fail to deter anything. *In fact, as our own history (and that of Britain) from the last 20 years has definitively demonstrated, it will embolden*criminals.

We need to be focusing instead on the mental health picture. *Before every mass shooting there were clear signs of danger that were ignored by mental health professionals and school counselors, signs which, had they been followed by warnings to the appropriate authorities, would have prevented these events. *But I don't see anyone calling for the individuals who failed to issue these warnings being called into account. Instead, legal firearm owners are being demonized. *THAT is where our focus needs to be. *Enforce the laws we already have, and hold those who are in positions to issue timely warnings accountable for their failure to do so.

I urge you to reject any changes in language Gov. Snyder would require that would limit or eliminate our right to carry in any way, shape, or form. The price of accommodation that he will require is too high. Getting this legislation passed will require a veto-proof majority. I will do everything I can do to generate the necessary support.


We need to bring enough pressure to bear on our state legislators to get enough votes to get this legislation through without any of the amendments Gov. Snyder will require as a condition for his signature; we need a veto-proof majority. Nothing less will work this time.


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January 25, 2013, 03:02 PM
110% agree. There can be no compromises on this.

The first time this bill went through I was just about to join MCRGO, with a good sized donation on top, but their support of the previous bill even with the compromises cost them that membership.

January 25, 2013, 09:34 PM
Well said! I was glad the original was veto'd. We do not need signage laws. That defeats the purpose of the cpl license to begin with. I understand property rights but what I carry in my waistband for protection is my own business.

January 26, 2013, 12:06 AM
very well written ezkl2230.

I hope you don't mind, I'm gonna borrow some parts of that, and send a copy off to my state senator as well. :-)

January 26, 2013, 02:18 AM
I'll be contacting Senators, Reps, and the Gov himself. Excellent write up.

January 27, 2013, 08:40 AM
Have you posted this on MGO ( Michigan gun owners). Under legal there is a long discussion with one of the comittee members to compose the bill.

January 27, 2013, 10:36 AM
Have you posted this on MGO ( Michigan gun owners). Under legal there is a long discussion with one of the comittee members to compose the bill.
Not yet. Finances. However, I'm starting a new job. I hope to join one or two more groups.

In the meantime, if you think my posting has merit, feel free to re-post it there.

BTW - this letter was faxed to the offices of Sen. Green, Sen. Hildenbrand, Sen. Richardville and some representatives as well. Snyder cannot be trusted with this issue; he speaks with a forked tongue. We MUST have a veto-proof majority in both houses to make this happen.

January 27, 2013, 02:50 PM
I might do that. I would recomend you post it only for the fact of direct questions to you. MGO is free to sign up for. migunownerns.org.

January 27, 2013, 04:21 PM
I might do that. I would recomend you post it only for the fact of direct questions to you. MGO is free to sign up for. migunownerns.org.
Done and done.

January 29, 2013, 09:59 AM
Help yourself!

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