DETROIT - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has vetoed a bill that would have allowed concealed weapons at churches and schools.
View: Snyder's veto letter
The bill sent to the Republican governor by the GOP-controlled Michigan legislature would have allowed someone who gets extra training to have a concealed weapon in a gun-free zone. The bill, Senate Bill 59, arrived on Snyder's desk on Tuesday. On Monday, the governor said he would be giving the bill "extra consideration" following the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.
The law also would have put county sheriffs in charge of concealed-weapons applications instead of local boards. Schools, churches and other entities could declare themselves off-limits to openly carried guns under trespass laws.
Snyder has also ordered a multi-departmental assessment of the state's services and needs regarding at-risk children. While he vetoed Senate Bill 59, Snyder did sign two other bills that are meant to streamline the process for handgun purchases and eliminate restrictions on interstate rifle and shotgun transactions to states which border Michigan.
According to his office, Snyder vetoed the concealed weapons bill because it fails to "let designated public entities such as schools, day care centers and hospitals opt out of the new concealed carry provisions."
"While we must vigilantly protect the rights of law-abiding firearm owners, we also must ensure the right of designated public entities to exercise their best discretion in matters of safety and security," the governor said in a news release Tuesday. "These public venues need clear legal authority to ban firearms on their premises if they see fit to do so."
Following the veto, Michigan Speaker of the House Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) released the following statement:
"As the father of two children, I cannot begin to imagine the heartbreak and horror for those in Connecticut. The sad truth is that signing or vetoing Senate Bill 59 would have had no impact on that tragedy. With regard to this specific legislation, it is unfortunate a compromise was not reached that the governor could support, and I understand the governor exercising his authority. It also is unfortunate that this veto does not make Michigan citizens safer in gun-free zones. Neither the governor's approval nor his veto will stop evil from preying on innocent people. With this veto, however, open-carry still exists in schools, churches and other public areas, and we know that criminals do not respect gun-free zones. For these reasons, we will continue to work with the governor to best protect our law-abiding citizens' Second Amendment rights, as well as the safety and security of all of our citizens."
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