Michigan constitutional carry bills advance to House floor
By Chris Eger
Michigan Open Carry President Tom Lambert describes pitfalls in current firearms carry laws to the House Judiciary Committee with an unloaded handgun. (Photo: MI House Video Archives)
A package of bills backed by Republicans to allow law-abiding Michigan residents to carry concealed handguns without a permit passed a key House committee Tuesday.
The measures, HB 4416, 4417, 4418, and 4419 by Reps. Hoitenga, Hornberger, Allor, and Cole, won approval from the House Judiciary Committee 6-4. The sponsors argue open carry without a permit or training is already legal in the state.
“It only becomes illegal when someone puts on a coat, because the gun then becomes concealed,” said Rep. Michelle Hoitenga, R-Manton, in lengthy testimony earlier this month to the committee. “One millimeter of clothing makes a difference between a criminal act and a legal act. My question is, why are law abiding citizens paying expensive fees for courses and permits to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms?”
The bills would repeal a host of Michigan’s laws that require training and a state-issued permit to carry a concealed firearm. They do not eliminate the state’s permitting system for those who wish to obtain a $105 license to carry to take advantage of existing