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Michigan state House approves carrying concealed guns without permit

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Legislation to allow Michigan gun owners to carry a concealed handgun without a permit was approved in the state House of Representatives on Wednesday, in a move that follows the lead of a dozen other states.

The package of four bills, which cleared the Republican-controlled House with support from a handful of Democrats, now moves to the Senate, also dominated by Republicans.

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It was not immediately clear whether Michigan’s Republican Governor Rick Snyder supports the bill. But the measure, if also approved in a Senate vote, could automatically become law 14 days after reaching the governor’s desk unless he vetoes it.

The legislation would lift a requirement that handgun owners obtain a concealed pistol license with a $100 fee to legally carry the weapon in public.

Handgun owners also would be allowed carry a concealed pistol in public without the firearms training that is currently mandated.

Advocates framed the issue as upholding a U.S. constitutional right to bear arms.

“We all know criminals are not paying fees, taking classes and waiting for approval to come in the mail before they begin carrying guns,” Michigan state Representative Michele Hoitenga, sponsor of the bill, said in a statement.

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The legislation “levels the playing field for honest people,” she said.

Opponents of the bill criticized it as dangerous.

Twelve other U.S. states already allow gun owners to carry their weapons without a concealed-carry permit, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Most are conservative-leaning with Republican-majority legislatures but Vermont, where Democrats control the statehouse, is among the 12.

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“The states that have eliminated the permit requirement are basically making it easier to carry a gun in public than drive a car,” said Hannah Shearer, a staff attorney with the San Francisco-based Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Legislation introduced in the U.S. Congress this year would, if approved and signed by President Donald Trump, require all states to allow firearm owners to carry their guns under the regulations of their home state, even if visiting elsewhere.

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For instance, a person allowed to carry a concealed firearm without a permit in North Dakota could do so when visiting California or New York state, where permits are required, Shearer said.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Tom Brown)


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Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro pushes political incorrectness to the limit

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro regularly offends opponents with political incorrectness and far-right diatribes, but he is taking heavier fire than usual for suggesting a respected journalist tried to get dirt on him with offers of sex.

The man dubbed the "Tropical Trump" has racked up a long list of controversial remarks over the years: he has praised the use of torture by Brazil's former military dictatorship; he once told a lawmaker he opposed she "wasn't worth raping"; he has said he would rather see his sons die than come out as gay.

But this week's firestorm has been big, even by his standards.

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‘Bulletproof from a pardon’: Fox News analyst says judge in Stone case just made things tough for Trump

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In the wake of Roger Stone's sentencing of 3.5 years in prison this Thursday, Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano posited that U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson's choice to go along with Attorney General Bill Barr's sentencing recommendation could have been an effort to pardon-proof the sentence from President Trump.

"[Jackson's] trying to make this bulletproof from a pardon," Napolitano said. "Because she went along exactly with what [Barr] requested."

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Adam Schiff sends signal that a Roger Stone pardon would be another impeachable offense

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Rep. Adam Schiff suggested that a presidential pardon for Roger Stone would be an impeachable offense.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced the longtime Republican operative to 40 months in prison, saying Stone had lied to Congress and threatened a witness to cover up possible wrongdoing by President Donald Trump -- and Schiff sent a warning against a pardon.

"Roger Stone was found guilty of lying to Congress and threatening a witness," Schiff tweeted.

Schiff, who led the impeachment inquiry and trial, agreed with Jackson -- whose language echoed the lawmaker's "corrupt scheme and cover-up" indictment during the Senate trial.

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