Tomorrow, Senate Bills 34 and 35 are expected to receive third reading and a vote on the Senate floor, after passing favorably out of the Senate Judiciary Committee without opposition last week. Please contact your state Senator immediately and urge swift passage of these bills.
As previously reported, SB 34 and SB 35 replicate the monumental reforms seen in last session’s Senate Bills 789 and 790. Unfortunately, after passing the legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support, SBs 789 and 790 were vetoed by Governor Rick Snyder as a result of pressure from out-of-state anti-gun organizations who spread misinformation about the legislation. NRA has worked with state legislators as well as Senator Mike Green (R-31) to ensure this critical legislation that—among other significant reforms—seeks to eliminate county concealed pistol licensing boards, has the opportunity to once again pass through the Michigan Legislature.
SB 34 and SB 35 seek to create a more efficient, expedient and uniform concealed pistol licensing process for all statutorily eligible Michiganders. SB 34 accomplishes this goal by eliminating county concealed pistol licensing boards as well as the discretionary licensing authority currently held by those boards. With the elimination of the county licensing boards, county clerks would administer the concealed weapon licensing process. Background checks that are statutorily required to obtain a Concealed Pistol License (CPL) would be conducted by the Michigan State Police (MSP). However, the MSP would not retain the discretionary authority currently held by the county licensing boards since SB 34 mandates that all persons who statutorily qualify for a CPL (i.e. not prohibited under 28.425b and satisfy all financial and submission obligations) would receive a license.
SB 34 also provides enhanced avenues for redressing licensing delays. Under SB 34, the county clerks and MSP have 45 days—beginning on the date fingerprints are taken—to either issue a CPL or provide a notice of disqualification. If the licensing authority fails to comply with the 45-day requirement, the individual’s fingerprint receipt and driver’s license will serve as a temporary license. For renewals, the expired license will serve as the temporary license.
In an effort to further simplify the licensing process, SB 34 includes a mandate requiring the creation of an online application process by 2018. This important reform will remedy the significant inconvenience currently experienced by individuals who often must take time off of work or other daily duties to wait in a line and file an in-person application with the county clerk. Other reforms that were carried over include renewal by mail for active-duty members of the military who are stationed outside of the state.
SB 34 and 35 are important fixes to current Michigan firearms policy. Please contact your state Senator and politely request that they support these important reforms to the concealed pistol licensing process.