Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on Monday vetoed Senate Bill 11, which would require county clerks to process concealed pistol licenses (CPLs) during state and/or locally-controlled emergencies.
Sen. Lana Theis (R-Bright) brought about SB 11 as a response to the coronavirus pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, city clerks halted the issuing and renewing of concealed pistol licenses, the Associated Press reported. Theis believes this is a blatant violation of Michiganders’ Second Amendment rights.
“People must be able to defend their life and property, especially during an emergency when having a concealed weapon may be even more necessary,” Sen. Theis said in a statement. “State law is clear that county clerks shall issue concealed pistol licenses to those who are qualified, and my bill would have ensured that this essential service would continue regardless of any declared emergency.”
According to the governor, the bill doesn’t take into account the “gravity of the emergency,” a not-so-subtle nod to COVID.
“The bill would require county clerks to issue concealed pistol licenses during declared emergencies – without regard to the scope or gravity of the emergency or whether in-person services would jeopardize Michigan clerks,” Whitmer wrote in her letter detailing the veto. “The bill would also require law enforcement agencies to prioritize the issuance of concealed carry permits – even when that would be a poor use of resources during an emergency.”
Update: The Michigan Governor vetoed the bill. pic.twitter.com/tdZecgOyKl
— Firearms Policy Coalition (@gunpolicy) March 21, 2022
Whitmer is clearly referring to the COVID pandemic as a reason not to approve CPLs, but there are ways around social distancing and gatherings that still protect Michiganders’ Second Amendment rights.
Plenty of people moved to working remote – including government employees. As long as the employee’s internet connection and computer are secure, there’s no reason those applications couldn’t be processed in a timely manner.
If a person needs to be interviewed for their CPL, the county clerk or the clerk’s staff could ask questions on Zoom.
And instead of requiring new pictures, the state and local government could find a way to use a driver’s license picture in place of a new CPL photo.
This is just an excuse for tyrants like Whitmer to shut down a person’s Constitutionally-protected rights… and it’s wrong.