Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) on Tuesday vetoed a bill to allow well-trained gun owners to carry concealed firearms in churches, schools and daycare centers.
Snyder said the bill deserved heightened scrutiny in the wake of the horrific elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty young children and six adults were killed in the mass shooting, sparking a national debate over gun control laws.
“This type of violence often leaves society with more questions than answers,” Snyder said. “The reasons for such appalling acts usually are numerous and complex. With that in mind, we must consider legislation like SB 59 in a holistic manner. While the bill’s goal is to help prevent needless violence, Michigan will be better served if we view it through a variety of lenses. A thoughtful review that examines issues such as school emergency policies, disenfranchised youth and mental health services may lead to more answers and better safeguards.”
The governor had pushed the Michigan legislature to amend the bill so schools and other public facilities could opt out of the new concealed carry provisions, but the bill sent to his desk only allowed private entities to opt out and become weapons-free zones.
“Allowing for an indeterminable number of permit holders to carry concealed in a place of worship was not good public policy to being with. Churches are meant to be a place of sanctuary for worshippers to gather in peace and free of the threat of gun violence,” the Michigan Catholic Conference said in a statement.
Though Snyder vetoed one gun bill, he also signed a bill to make it easier to purchase a handgun and another bill that eliminated restrictions on interstate rifle and shotgun transactions.
[Image via Flickr user Detroit Regional Chamber, Creative Commons licensed.]
Eric W. Dolan
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