Senate panel advances Theis concealed pistol license bill

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Regulatory Reform Committee on Tuesday approved a bill sponsored by Sen. Lana Theis that would ensure county clerks issue and renew concealed pistol licenses regardless of any government shutdown.

“The constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens cannot be infringed upon, even in times of emergency,” said Theis, R-Brighton. “Unfortunately, and infuriatingly, county clerks across the state have infringed on law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights during this pandemic by refusing or delaying issuing or renewing concealed pistol licenses. It’s not right and it must stop.”

Senate Bill 1219 would exempt county clerks from a shutdown order, so they may continue to issue and renew concealed pistol licenses. The clerk’s office and law enforcement would also be required to continue providing the fingerprinting services necessary to obtain a new concealed pistol license as well.

Additionally, the bill would enable county clerks and 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.

“State law is clear: County clerks shall issue concealed pistol licenses to those who are qualified, and my bill will ensure that this essential service continues regardless of any declared state of emergency or executive order,” Theis said. “The right of the people to exercise their constitutional freedoms to defend their life and property doesn’t stop during an emergency — in fact it may be even more necessary.”

The bill advanced to the full Senate for consideration.

###