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Governor vetoes Theis bill protecting Second Amendment rights

Would have guaranteed issue of concealed pistol licenses during emergencies

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Lana Theis’ legislation that would have ensured the issuance and renewal of concealed pistol licenses during declared emergencies was vetoed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday.

“This is a disappointing day for gun owners,” said Theis, R-Brighton. “The Second Amendment is clear that the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, but that is exactly what Gov. Gretchen Whitmer did today.

“People must be able to defend their life and property even, and especially, in times of emergency. State law is clear that county clerks shall issue concealed pistol licenses to those who are qualified, and my bill would have ensured that this essential service would continue regardless of any declared emergency.

“While I am disappointed with Whitmer’s veto, I cannot say that I am shocked. She has never supported gun owners and she likely never will. I hope responsible gun owners will continue their efforts to protect this right. I certainly will.”

Theis fielded numerous complaints throughout the COVID-19 pandemic that county clerks across the state refused or delayed issuing or renewing concealed pistol licenses, infringing on law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights.

Senate Bill 11 would have required county clerks to continue to issue and renew concealed pistol licenses regardless of any shutdown issued by executive order or public health order. County clerks and law enforcement would have also been required to continue providing the fingerprinting services necessary to obtain a new concealed pistol license.

Additionally, the bill would have enabled the Michigan State Police to provide personal identification numbers to concealed pistol license holders, so they may renew their licenses online during any declared emergency.

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