Submitted by: Daniel Xu
Although a large number of states have begun to pass–or passed–new gun control legislation, some have decided to go against the grain. States such as Michigan, Montana, West Virginia, North Dakota, Texas, and others have their own bills put forward, but to protect residents’ Second Amendment rights.
According to The Detroit Free Press, Michigan lawmakers introduced bills that, among other provisions, could exempt the state from federal firearms regulations and shield firearms registration and license information from Freedom of Information Act requests. Another bill seeks to allow guns in schools and other areas. However, there is heavy opposition to the more than a dozen pro-gun bills and experts expect a tense fight.
“The legislative process tends to be more unpredictable. We don’t expect it to be an easy battle, but we expect progress,” said Phillip Hofmeister, president of the Michigan Open Carry Organization. “Pistol-free zones are criminal empowerment zones where criminals will carry guns, but law-abiding citizens can’t.”
Opponents of the bills say otherwise.
“I own a gun and believe in Second Amendment rights,” said Representative Andy Schor (D-Lansing). “But the majority party is not interested in reasonable gun laws. I believe we can have some reasonable limits. Right now, somebody can walk into my son’s school with a gun on their hip, and I don’t think that’s appropriate.”
The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action reports that legislation in West Virginia and North Dakota run along a similar note, paying special attention to the use of firearms during a state of emergency and when and where a person can carry a concealed weapon. Bills in Montana focuses on the authority of universities, employers, and healthcare providers in the matter of gun ownership. Numerous proposals have also been made in the Texas legislature to allow wider liberties for concealed carry permit holders, especially in schools.
Nationwide the gun control debate remains the hot topic of discussion as new federal gun bills near a vote.