Michigan approves concealed weapons in schools, churches

A Smith & Wesson .357 magnum revolver is displayed for customers to rent at the Los Angeles Gun Club on December 7, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.

Michigan passed a law Friday that will allow the carrying of concealed weapons in previously off-limits areas including schools, churches, day cares and sports stadiums. 

The bill cleared the Senate on Thursday, and was approved by the Republican-controlled House Friday, the same day that 27 people, including 20 children, were killed by gunfire at a Connecticut school. 

"If you have pistol free zones they are actually mass murderer empowerment zones," said Steve Dulan, attorney for the Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners, who represents sportsman clubs throughout Michigan backing the bill.

"If you actually look at the history, even over the past 10 years in the US, you find that maybe all but one mass shooting has occurred in a so-called gun free zone," he added. 

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Another provision in the bill eliminates county-controlled concealed weapons licensing boards, having sheriffs assume their duties instead, Click On Detroit reported

The current law in Michigan prohibited concealed weapons in schools, churches, day cares, hospitals, dorms, casinos and any public entertainment venue that had a capacity of over 2,500 people, according to Petoskey News. Violating the law earned a civil infraction and a $500 fine, as well as a six-month suspension of a concealed pistol license. 

The new law allows schools and private establishments to voluntarily stay pistol-free if they choose to, Petoskey News reported, but opponents say it goes too far, Click on Detroit reported. 

The bill is now headed to the state's governor Rick Snyder to be signed, but he told local Channel 4  that is taking a week to review the law's language, especially in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting. 

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