Are Domestic Abuse Victims Any Safer?

January 28, 2015 Abuse and Neglect Attorney

Gov. Snyder Vetoes Change in Gun Laws

Not everyone is pleased with Governor Snyder’s most recent decision to veto a proposed bill that would change Michigan’s concealed carrying laws. Still, there are those who are very pleased including a number of domestic abuse victims and those who advocate for them.

Senate Bills 789 and 790, which were backed by the NRA (National Rifle association), would have completely revamped the application process for a Michigan concealed pistol permit. One of the results would have been that those subject to restraining orders (PPO’s) could still receive permits to carry concealed weapons.

Governor Snyder explained in a recent statement that, while there are many aspects of the bill that he agrees with and would like to see implemented in the future, he was unwilling to sign into law a bill which he felt would jeopardize the safety of abuse victims across the state.

“We simply can’t and won’t take the chance of exposing domestic abuse victims to additional violence or intimidation. There are certainly some reforms that can improve the way Michigan issues concealed pistol licenses and we support the rights of law-abiding firearm owners, but it’s crucial that we leave in place protections for people who already have endured challenges and abuse.”

Current Michigan law does not allow any individual who is subject to a personal protection order (PPO) to purchase or possess a gun. However, Bill 789 would make it so that this only applies to those whom the court specifically states in the PPO may not have access to a weapon.

In a letter to lawmakers, in which the Governor explains his decision to veto this bill, he points out that a victim of domestic abuse may not know to ask the court to include this specific information in the PPO. This would leave a potentially violent individual free to own and carry a weapon.

The bills, which were sponsored by Senator Mike Green, were ostensibly created to streamline the process by which Michigan residents could obtain a concealed pistol license. The bills would eliminate the individual county gun boards, and place the responsibility for the licenses directly into the hands of the state police and sheriff’s department. This would effectively move Michigan from a “may issue” state to a “shall issue” state.

The Governor, who is openly against bullying and abuse of any kind, was lauded by the press and a number of public figures and anti-gun groups for his veto. Among those who supported the Governor’s decision were Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, and U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell.

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