The 101st Michigan legislative session began on Wednesday, January 13, 2021. Like the previous legislative session, Michigan has a pro-gun majority legislature and an anti-gun governor. The likelihood of any substantial firearms legislation passing these next two years is minimal. However, this session serves as an idea incubator for self-defense advocates planning for a new governor in 2023 and their gun control antagonists hoping for a change in legislative direction as a result of redistricting.

MCRGO’s member-elected Board of Directors votes on legislative positions after careful consideration and discussion. Two of the more innovative bills recently reintroduced and MCRGO’s positions on them have attracted some interest from our members.

HB 4006 would provide a pistol free zone exemption (unrestricted concealed pistol license) for any elected official. This bill is yet another pistol free zone carve-out for special people. We all hate that. It’s unfair. The initial reaction of most gun owners is to oppose it. After substantial discussion, MCRGO’s Board voted to support this legislation at the 2020 annual members meeting. The bill creates huge openings in who can qualify for an unrestricted license. It’s not just limited to state elected officials. It’s open to anyone who holds elective office in this state. That’s every township board member, every school board member, every road commissioner, and every precinct delegate. Those precinct delegate positions in particular are often not competitive and sometimes unfilled. This is an easy way for the average CPL holder to get an unrestricted license. It undermines the concept of pistol free zones. A secondary benefit is that it provides an incentive for concealed pistol license holders to run for state and local elected office. More pro-gun elected officials would be a great thing.

HB 4027 would make private property owners liable in a civil action for damages that result from injuries that an individual sustains on property that the owner has made a gun-free or weapon-free zone. The bill is inclusive of most private property including private residences, not just private businesses open to the public. This bill violates private property rights. It holds private property owners liable for crimes they did not commit. It goes against the principles most of us stand for, undermining the liberty we seek to defend, and inserting more government into what is now a simple contract between private parties.

You can view MCRGO’s positions on all Michigan firearms legislation by going to MCRGO.org and clicking on Legislation in the top menu bar. At the March 2021 Board meeting, the Board will confirm or reconsider these positions on bills like HB 4006 and HB 4027 reintroduced from the 2019-2020 legislative session.

As always, please feel free to contact me at brady@mcrgo.org or at (517) 484-2746 with any questions or concerns you may have.

Brady Schickinger, Executive Director