Cece Jabs-

With extra training, licensed gun owners could begin to carry concealed firearms in places like schools and churches in the state of Michigan. In light of several recent mass shootings, Michigan’s Senate voted to pass this new concealed-carry gun law.

Prior to this legislation, the state of Michigan had already permitted concealed-carry guns in certain areas. However, carrying a gun was still prohibited  in places like schools, churches, stadiums and day cares. This new bill would allow concealed carry in previously banned places, but a permit would be required for a gun owner to carry in these restricted areas. This permit would require eight extra hours of training beyond what a regular gun owner is required to have. Certified firearm instructors would also be able to obtain this permit without any additional training.

The aim of the bill is to protect people in churches and schools, since there have been a large number of shootings in these areas. Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof said the idea of the bill is that people carrying their own guns will deter armed attackers. People inside will be able to defend themselves with firearms, so this might make an attacker think twice.

One thing to note is that this law, if passed, would not interfere with a school district’s right to decide if guns are allowed or not. Individual districts will still be able to decide against concealed-carry if they decide it’s not right for them; however, they would only be able to ban students and staff from carrying firearms. 

Although this bill is going through Michigan’s judicial system, Wisconsin residents still have strong opinions about it. Depending on the bill’s support and passage, other states may follow in Michigan’s footsteps and pass of their own concealed carry laws, so it has the potential to affect laws across the country.  

A current University of WisconsinStout student that wishes to remain anonymous commented, “I think that guns and weapons shouldn’t be allowed [in these places], even with a permit. Security can have them, with proper training and such. The idea of allowing a student to carry a weapon to ‘potentially stop a shooter’ requires a crime to already have happened. It seems reactionary instead of preventative to me.”

Another UWStout student, Amy Popp, was also willing to share her thoughts: “I personally am against any sort of gun law like this because I feel like it’s not the best solution. I feel like there are better ways to combat against these mass shootings. I also feel that the government could just maybe have stricter gun laws [about who can get a weapon].”

Along with those who disagree with the bill’s effectiveness, there are also many people are in support. Another anonymous UWStout student said, “I think this bill will help the state, and I’d be cool with Wisconsin passing something like this too. I mean, if I was an attacker and I knew people could carry guns [in the targeted building], it might make me not want to do it.” If this bill is passed by the house and signed by the governor, only time will tell if it is effective.