Americans for Responsible Solutions is a political action committee that argues American homes and streets will be safer with stricter gun laws, and the only way to get those laws passed is to elect a Congress that isn't beholden to the gun lobby. Before it out-campaigns the gun industry, the group is warning of the threat posed by legislation under consideration in Washington called the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.
The bill, if passed, would require all states to honor the concealed weapons laws of other states — including those states that have weak or no standards for allowing people to carry hidden firearms in public. A dozen states require no permit or training for a person to carry a hidden firearm. If the bill passes, the group warns, visitors from those states would be allowed to carry concealed firearms in Michigan even though they've not been required to complete any training, testing or background screening.
"This bill, which is being crafted by special interest groups in Washington, would have a disastrous impact on public safety here in Michigan," said state Rep. Robert Wittenberg, D-Oak Park. "Before voting on this bill, I hope our lawmakers will think twice about how this bill will make Michigan less safe."
The special interest groups are not only in Washington.
In June, Wittenberg's colleagues in the Michigan House passed a set of bills that would effectively do the same thing as the federal legislation Americans for Responsible Solutions opposes. Those bills would allow any lawful gun owner to carry a concealed firearm without a permit or state-mandated training.
Like Wittenberg — and most state law enforcement, prosecutor and medical officials — we fear these bills would have a disastrous impact on public safety in our state, and we hope our lawmakers will think twice about how this bill will make Michigan less safe.
The bills still must be taken up by the state Senate, and if passed, signed by the governor. We hope each senator and the governor will think twice about putting more pistols in our homes, cars and public places. More guns mean more shootings.
— TIMES HERALD/PORT HURON (AP)