March 29, 2022
A measure that would have bolstered Second Amendment rights for Michigan gun owners during emergencies has been vetoed by the governor.
The legislation, Senate Bill 11, which would have required Michigan counties to continue processing concealed carry applications during a state of emergency, was vetoed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on March 21.
Specifically, the bill stated: ‘If the governor issues or declares a state of emergency or state of disaster under the emergency management act, 1976 PA 390, MCL 30.401 to 30.421, or 1945 PA 302, MCL 10.31 to 10.33, the director of the department of health and human services issues an emergency order under section 2253 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.2253, or a local health officer issues an emergency order under section 2453 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.2453, the department of state police may provide a personal identification number to an individual during that emergency or disaster so that the individual may submit his or her renewal license online.”
The measure had passed the state House 58-43, and was approved in the Senate by a vote of 20-15.
Whitmer, widely known as the governor who completely botched the handling of the COVID pandemic in the Great Lakes State, reportedly told Democrat lawmakers that the measure would have mandated that clerks issue licenses without regard to the scope or gravity of the emergency or whether in-person services would jeopardize the clerks.
Among the things Whitmer botched over the past couple of years was issuing and renewal of concealed carry permits for law-abiding Michigan gun owners. In some areas of the state, permit applications sat around for nearly a year, sparking outrage and even lawsuits over the unnecessarily long wait time.
At the time, Terry Johnson, an attorney for plaintiff Michigan Open Carry, Inc., said: “We want the court to order the clerk to do her job. The clerk hasn't stopped doing the functions required by her job, except for the processing of CPLs.”
According to wdio.com, Republican Sen. Lana Theis, a co-sponsor of the measure, called the veto a disappointment for gun owners and said Second Amendment rights can't be infringed. On that point she was apparently incorrect, as future emergency declarations can continue to be used to curtail Second Amendment rights, thanks to Whitmer’s veto.
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for more than 20 years.