Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder rejected a bill Tuesday that would have allowed people who receive special training to carry concealed firearms into formerly gun-free zones like churches and school buildings.
Michigan's legislature passed the concealed carry measure, Senate Bill 59, last Thursday.
Gov. Snyder said in a release sent to The Huffington Post that last Friday's shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary led to a thorough review of the bill. Instead, he said he calls for a "more comprehensive review of issues relating to gun violence." He has now ordered a multi-departmental assessment of the state’s services and needs regarding at-risk children.
“This type of violence often leaves society with more questions than answers,” Snyder said in the release. “The reasons for such appalling acts usually are numerous and complex. With that in mind, we must consider legislation like SB 59 in a holistic manner."
The legislation would have allowed those with Concealed Pistol Licenses who have taken eight hours of additional training to bring firearms into schools, day care centers, sports arenas, bars, places of worship, hospitals, dormitories and large entertainment facilities.
Private-property owners and public universities would have been given an opportunity to prohibit the weapons, but public schools would not have had that option.
“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,” said Gov. Snyder in a statement sent to The Huffington Post. “These public venues need clear legal authority to ban firearms on their premises if they see fit to do so.”
Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayvill, who sponsored the bill, told the Detroit News shortly before the veto that the governor would refuse to sign the bill because of the language regarding guns in public schools. Green said he refused to change the language to allow public schools and municipalities to still ban concealed weapons, for fear that it could be used to overturn the state's firearms preemption law that prohibits local firearms laws from trumping state laws and regulations," the Detroit News said.
In the wake of the Newton, Conn. school shooting Friday that killed 26 people, including 20 children, Snyder told the Associated Press that public safety concerns related to the legislation would “deserve extra consideration.”
"While the bill’s goal is to help prevent needless violence, Michigan will be better served if we view it through a variety of lenses," Snyder said in the release. "A thoughtful review that examines issues such as school emergency policies, disenfranchised youth and mental health services may lead to more answers and better safeguards.”
Snyder also said a 1981 shooting that occurred at the University of Michigan while he was a law school student and resident adviser also affected his consideration of the bill.
"If you ask in context, this is something that has additional impact on me because of my personal history," he told the Detroit Free Press.
After last week's shooting, some politicians across the country have called for gun reform measures that would impose stricter regulations on the purchase and use of weapons. But supporters of the legislation said last week that it could help avoid similar incidents in the future , according to the Detroit Free Press.
“This kind of tragedy is hard to process, but if one person – a faculty member or a parent – could legally carry, at least it could have limited some of the mayhem,” Michigan Open Carry Inc. Media Director Rob Harris said Friday. “This legislation has to be passed to at least have a fighting chance against the evil in this world.”
While the governor rejected Senate Bill 59, he did sign two other bills that streamline the process for handgun purchases and eliminate restrictions on interstate rifle and shotgun transactions to states contiguous to Michigan.
This is a developing story.
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The <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/10/us-usa-shooting-guns-fb-idUSTRE7096M620110110" target="_hplink">U.S. Constitution</a>'s Second Amendment affords Americans the right to "bear Arms," but each state has its own regulations. <em>Photo credit: Whitney Curtis/Getty Images</em>
Only licensed gun owners can <a href="http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/united-kingdom" target="_hplink">buy and possess weapons</a> in the UK. Hunting, target shooting or collecting are considered valid reasons to acquire a license, but <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2008-06-26-2026227487_x.htm" target="_hplink">self-defense is not</a>. Civilians can't possess semi-automatic or automatic firearms, handguns or armor-piercing ammunition. <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uks-gun-laws-are-among-the-toughest-in-the-world-1990075.html" target="_hplink">Criminal offenders</a> who have been in prison for more than three years are banned from having a gun. <em>Photo credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images</em>
Australians can only possess a firearm with a license, and<a href="http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/australia" target="_hplink"> licenses are only granted</a> for hunting, target shooting, historical collection, pest control, and occasionally for occupational reasons. Civilians can't keep semi-automatic rifles or shotguns, and <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2008-06-26-2026227487_x.htm" target="_hplink">gun ownership for self-defense</a> is not permitted. <em>Photo credit: Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images</em>
Mexican law allows civilians to possess handguns and semi-automatic assault weapons, but <a href="http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/mexico" target="_hplink">only with a license</a>. Valid reasons to request a license are hunting, target shooting, rodeo riding, collection, personal protection, or employment. Applicants must pass a background check and renew their licenses every two years. <a href="http://articles.cnn.com/2012-04-26/us/us_mexico-crime-guns_1_mexican-crime-scenes-gun-sales-gun-dealers" target="_hplink">Nearly 70 percent</a> of weapons found at Mexican crime scenes can be traced back to the United States, according to CNN. <em>Photo credit: LUCAS CASTRO/AFP/Getty Images</em>
Russians <a href="http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/russia" target="_hplink">must prove</a> that firearms will be used for hunting, target shooting, historic collection, personal protection or security in order to get a license. License applicants must be 18 years old and pass a background check. Licenses need to be renewed every five years. <em>Photo credit: DMITRY ASTAKHOV/AFP/Getty Images</em>
Chinese citizens are <a href="http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2007-04/21/content_856308.htm" target="_hplink">not allowed to posses firearms</a>. Exceptionally, the government issues permission to own a firearm for hunting, sports shooting and animal control. <a href="http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2007-04/21/content_856308.htm" target="_hplink">Penalties for illegal selling of weapons</a> ranges from three years in jail to the death penalty. <em>Caption: Police display guns they seized from illegal traders at Chengdu Municipal Public Security Bureau on January 26, 2005 in Chengdu of Sichuan Province, China. (China Photos/Getty Images)</em>
Canadians can possess handguns, but <a href="http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/information/lic-per-eng.htm" target="_blank">need authorization</a> to carry them. Possession of automatic weapons is prohibited (except when the <a href="http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/canada" target="_hplink">weapon was bought before 1978</a>) and semi-automatic weapons are tolerated in exceptional cases. Applicants for a license must <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/10/gun-ownership-laws-around-the-world" target="_hplink">pass background test</a>, must follow a safety course and be certified by a firearms officer. Licenses are up for renewal every 5 years. <em>Caption: Rifles are lined up as athletes prepare to compete in the women's Biathlon 4x6 km relay at the Whistler Olympic Park during the Vancouver Winter Olympics on February 23, 2010. (FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)</em>
Brazil has <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/04/09/brazil-debates-gun-laws-deadly-school-shooting/" target="_hplink">strict gun laws</a>. Gun holders need to be 25, have no criminal record and attend safety courses. Licences are granted for reasons of hunting, target shooting, personal protection and security and must be renewed every three years. <em>Caption: A policeman holds a seized machine gun at Morro do Alemao shanty town on November 28, 2010 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (JEFFERSON BERNARDES/AFP/Getty Images)</em>
As the <em>Atlantic</em> notes, <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/07/a-land-without-guns-how-japan-has-virtually-eliminated-shooting-deaths/260189/" target="_hplink">few Japanese own a gun</a>. Civilians in Japan are only allowed to have a firearm <a href="http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/japan" target="_hplink">for hunting and with special permission for target shooting</a>. License applicants need to pass <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/07/a-land-without-guns-how-japan-has-virtually-eliminated-shooting-deaths/260189/" target="_hplink">a shooting range class and a background check</a>. Licences have to be renewed <a href="http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/japan" target="_hplink">every three years</a>. <em>Caption: A soldier of Ground Self Defense Forces' Central Readiness Force (CRF) walks past rifles prior to the inauguration ceremony of the CRF at Asaka camp in northern Tokyo, 31 March 2007. (TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)</em>
German civilians <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2008-06-26-2026227487_x.htm" target="_hplink">need to have a license</a> to buy and hold firearms. Applicants need to be 21, pass a background check that assesses reliability and suitability and applicants under the age of 25 need to pass a psychological exam. Licenses are up for renewal every three years. <em>Caption: A gun lies outside a branch of Postbank bank after an attempted robbery that left one guard dead October 29, 2007 in Berlin, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)</em>