On March 28, 2017, almost 3 dozen Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin proposed a bill that would allow those legally allowed to own a gun to carry it, openly or concealed, without further permits of fees.
In a similar move this week, a bill was proposed in the Michigan House of Representatives. Much like the Wisconsin bill, if passed the Michigan bill would allow those who have already passed their background checks to carry their weapons how they choose.
“Responsible people shouldn’t have to obtain a special permit from the government to exercise a right that is guaranteed in both the U.S. and state constitutions,” Representative Michele Hoitenga of Manton, Michigan, said, in a statement. “Other states have recently passed full constitutional carry laws, and I plead to my colleagues and our governor to pass this common-sense package that will allow law-abiding women, like myself, to protect ourselves and our families without jumping through bureaucratic hoops.
Criminals don’t complete the permitting process before they commit a crime, and it’s time we level the playing field for lawful people who want nothing more than to protect their families.”
The Wisconsin lawmakers made statements akin to those made in Michigan. In a statement, Republican state Senator David Craig from the Town of Vernon in Wisconsin said “If you decide to carry a weapon to protect yourself or your family, you should be able to do so easily — without bureaucratic hurdles and without cost.”
The two proposals do have some differences, however. For instance, the Wisconsin bill also includes the ability for some individuals to carry weapons onto school grounds, and re-introduces the right to carry tasers.
One thing both bills have is continuing the state’s concealed carry permit issuance. While it would no longer be needed within their respective states if these bills are passed, states with concealed carry reciprocity would still require a permit from the home state.
Thus, continuing to provide state issued concealed carry permits would give gun owners the flexibility to carry, permitless, in their own state, but still travel to states that recognize the Michigan and Wisconsin concealed carry permits.
Lawmakers cited the 2nd Amendment and indicated fees for permits violated that right. Representative Pamela Hornberger of Chesterfield Township, Michigan said, “People deserve to have the rights our Founding Fathers laid out for us in the U.S. Constitution, especially the right to bear arms. The fees required by the current law amount to a tax that infringes on this fundamental right.”
What are your thoughts? If you are from Michigan or Wisconsin, weigh-in below!