Michigan lawmakers vote to loosen BB, pellet gun limits

30 Apr 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

As gun advocates rally outside Michigan Capitol, lawmakers debate guns inside schools.

It’s not clear the governor — who says the speculation brings positive attention to Michigan — is nearly as serious about running for president as he is about raising the state’s profile, or his own. The Senate gave final approval to legislation Wednesday repealing restrictions against children under age 18 from using a BB gun without being accompanied by an adult.LANSING, MI — Gun owners and advocates rallied outside the Michigan Capitol on Wednesday, openly carrying firearms and celebrating their 2nd Amendment rights. Rick Snyder legislation that would relax the state’s restrictions on air guns by repealing an age limit and no longer regulating them like firearms. A handful of Republican Senators — including Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, Mike Green, Rick Jones and Dave Hildenbrand — addressed the enthusiasts before taking up gun-related bills on the floor of the upper chamber. “It is a great responsibility to carry a firearm, to own a firearm.

While the obstacles to a relatively late-starting bid are considerable, the governor and his staff are sticking to a “haven’t ruled it out” line for now. Rick Snyder smiles during an interview before signing legislation to provide state funding for Detroit municipal pensions as part of the city’s bankruptcy process during a ceremony at the refurbished Globe Building in Detroit, Friday, June 20, 2014.(Photo: AP) LANSING, Mich. He made the remarks while pro-gun activists rallied down the street outside the state Capitol. “What we’d like to see as a compromise is to allow concealed carry in schools. The approval – timed to coincide with a pro-Second Amendment rally at the Capitol – came four months after Snyder vetoed the same measures because he received only part of a package of bills.

It says Michigan is one of just four states to classify most pellet and air guns as firearms, which the gun rights group says is an “unduly burdensome restraint.” Supporters say Michigan law should be aligned with the federal definition, while opponents worry about unintended consequences such as more shootings by police who mistake toy guns for real ones — citing a police shooting last year of a 12-year-old boy carrying a pellet gun in Cleveland. That will help alleviate the problem of any disruptions caused from carry,” said rally organizer Brady Schickinger, who directs the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners. “I would imagine there’ll probably be ongoing discussion,” Snyder said. “Open carry in Michigan schools is not a good thing. But I also really, really want you to focus on the responsibility side, because we need to figure out how folks that don’t understand our position, how we can get them to understand our position.” Later Wednesday morning, the Senate approved a series of bills that would modify the definition of firearms to exclude BB guns and Airsoft guns, a change that could make them easier to purchase. Trevino, Detroit Free Press)Buy Photo LANSING — Talk of a Rick Snyder for president campaign has surfaced sporadically among pundits for the last two years.

The bills passed by wide margins but sparked a debate over recent open-carry controversies, including an incident in Ann Arbor, where parents and staff were taken aback when an owner carried a firearm into a choir concert at a public school. The gun-rights group said recently that air guns should not be subjected to the “same onerous regulations for their purchase, possession and transfer.” One, approved 30-7 by the Senate, would with some exceptions prohibit local governments from regulating air guns since they already cannot regulate firearms. Michigan law prohibits concealed pistol permit holders from carrying concealed weapons in schools, but the law does not prevent owners from openly carrying a gun on their hips. “This has created a a quandary for school administrators, public safety advocates and police,” said Sen. A spokesman told the Detroit Free Press on Saturday the governor “has not made any decisions about entering the field at this time.” And Snyder told Bloomberg News in California on Monday

Michigan Radio’s political analyst Jack Lessenberry, however, said someone considering a run might go to places like California, New York or Washington D.C., for money. Steve Bieda, a Warren Democrat who cited instances of police shooting kids thinking their toy guns were real ones. “The safety of children in this state is paramount.” The legislation would let counties, cities, townships and villages require children under 16 with air guns to be supervised by a parent or adult except on private property.

It seems to him as if Snyder is flirting with the idea, as if he might even be “believing his own press coverage.” “Here’s what I think’s going on: For the first time in anybody’s memory – the first time since 1952 – there’s not a clear front-runner for the Republican nomination,” he said. “It’s usually the guy who finished second in the last cycle. And there’s all sorts of middle-of-the-pack people, and so people are speculating, ‘Well it might be somebody entirely different, it might be a dark horse.’” He said it’s possible that this time around the convention could arrive before any of the candidates have 50% or more of the delegates won over – which is what’s needed for a nomination. Senate Democrats unsuccessfully tried tying the air gun reclassification legislation to a bill that would prohibit people from carrying guns in schools, daycare centers, bars, sports arenas and other “pistol-free areas.” Michigan law lets people with a concealed-carry permit openly carry their gun in those locations as long as they do not conceal it. And as a governor who has pushed for both the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and a major road funding tax increase in Tuesday’s special election, is generally seen as too moderate to fare well in most of the early Republican primaries and caucuses.

When a Republican governor goes on a tour across the country to take credit for engineering an economic comeback in his state, just as the 2016 race heats up, it makes you wonder. Anyone who dismisses the idea out of hand, however, should be reminded how absurd the idea was in December 2009 — before Snyder went on the air with his “one tough nerd” Super Bowl ad — of an unknown businessman who had never run for political office winning the governorship. He wanted to prohibit open carry in those places in exchange and to let schools and other entities opt out if they did not want concealed pistols on site. I can’t determine everything.” The Ann Arbor Public School Board responded to the open carry controversy by adopting a “dangerous weapon and disruption-free zone” prohibiting guns on all district-owned property.

Since then, Snyder has pulled off some other unlikely feats, including pushing an unpopular tax on pensions through the GOP-controlled and tax-averse Legislature and getting approval from lawmakers for a $194.8-million state contribution to the Detroit bankruptcy settlement known as the grand bargain. “I continue to believe that Gov. Snyder can be a viable candidate for the nomination,” said Charlie Black, a political strategist who counts former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush among the Republican candidates he has advised.

State law preempts local units of government from adopting their own gun regulations, according to the complaint. “They can’t stop them,” Green said of open carry gun owners. ” Nobody has to obey the rule. Black, who cites Detroit’s nascent recovery from bankruptcy as a strong Snyder talking point, said, “The race is wide open, and I actually expect more than one successful Midwestern governor to compete.” “I really don’t know much about Gov. Snyder, which probably says something in itself,” Stuart Rothenberg, founding editor of the nonpartisan Washington, D.C.-based Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report, told the Free Press . “I start out skeptical.” Snyder won the GOP gubernatorial nomination in Michigan by winning a single, five-way primary in which all the other candidates were more conservative than he was. Another Michigan Republican, who favors another candidate and doesn’t want to be identified, suggests that Snyder aims to keep his name out there as a potential vice president or cabinet selection. Asked about a realistic path to victory for Snyder, some pundits point to a scenario under which several candidates pick up support of between 20% and 40%, each controls a majority of delegates in fewer than eight states and there is a brokered convention.

Michigan governors have been limited to two terms since a 1992 constitutional amendment, so Snyder will need something to do starting in January 2019. But skeptics point out that hasn’t happened in decades, and they question why a deadlocked convention would turn to Snyder — not known for his charisma — as opposed to a new face who would stir more excitement, or a tested and nationally known candidate, such as Mitt Romney.

If Snyder were to take a cabinet position or the VP slot in a Republican administration, he would resign in late 2016 or early 2017, allowing his lieutenant governor, Brian Calley, to ascend to the governorship and run in 2018 as an unelected incumbent governor. Some observers think Snyder, while telling Michigan’s story in a positive way, also wants to raise his own profile, raising the likelihood he could be chosen as a running mate or for a cabinet post in the next administration. It’s worth noting that, compared with the other big-name announced and about-to-be-announced presidential candidates, Snyder has no real national political network or operation, and there haven’t been any signs of the governor’s assembling one to become a nascent presidential campaign.

But even if the field were less crowded — and didn’t already feature one Republican governor of a usually Democratic blue-collar midwestern state in Walker, and perhaps another in Ohio governor John Kasich — Snyder would offer Republicans an unusual choice. Snyder’s travel costs are being offset through funds raised by a recently formed nonprofit headed by two Michigan businessman and Snyder friends, former state party chairman Bobby Schostak and Bill Parfet, the wealthy head of MPI Research in Mattawan.

Harry Enten of FiveThirtyEight.com concluded, “Using our aggregated ideological scale that takes into account congressional voting records (inapplicable to Snyder), fundraising, and public issue statements, Snyder is to the left of everyone in the Republican field save New Jersey Gov. The GOP presidential schedule starts in January with caucuses in Iowa, a state where Snyder has connections because he worked there, in Sioux City, when he was a top executive at Gateway Computers in the 1990s — though he actually lived just across the border in South Dakota. “We’d love to have Rick come to Iowa,” said Jim Wharton, a former Sioux City mayor who worked for Snyder at Gateway and penned an op-ed piece touting Snyder that appeared in the local newspaper on Sunday. “Gov. Snyder has turned Michigan around and done it with a coalition of conservatives and liberals,” Wharton said in the op-ed. “It seems our Michigan friends believe that jobs, education and attention to the under-served are fairly important, and that’s where Rick has chosen to make his mark.” That’s stronger praise than Snyder receives from many political quarters in Michigan, where numerous GOP congressional districts have voted to oppose the Proposal 1 sales tax hike and road funding measure he is pushing.

And it’s unlikely Snyder could be elected Republican Party chairman, due to an active tea party wing that has opposed several Snyder initiatives. “Is he really going to put a serious campaign together and spend time campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire?” asked Rothenberg. “He is very unknown to most Republicans nationally, and he has a long way to go before he becomes a factor in the race. Snyder’s Iowa ties raise the possibility of him making a play for a strong showing in the caucuses, or perhaps raising his national profile by competing in the Iowa Republican Straw Poll in Ames in August — though that event has lost much of its former luster. On his national tour, he’s touting the success of the “grand bargain” that “cuts Detroit government workers’ pensions by 4.5 percent, erases $7 billion of the estimated $18 billion owed by the city from its balance sheet, and earmarks $1.7 billion to attack the deferred maintenance for the city’s essential services, including police and fire protection.” But the Mackinac Center for Public Policy analyzed Snyder’s State of the State addresses and concluded that he averages seven proposed expansions of government for every two proposed limitations of government. Snyder handlers say that since no decision has been made about whether the governor will enter the race, no such strategic decisions have been made, and no trips to early states such as Iowa or New Hampshire, whose primary is held in late January, are scheduled. And Snyder’s the opposite of a social-conservative crusader, going as far as to tell reporters, “Social issues, generally, I don’t take a position.”

Snyder’s name was a last-second addition to a Public Policy Polling survey conducted April 23-26 of how Iowans view potential Republican candidates, said PPP director Tom Jensen. That made him easily the least recognized of 18 potential candidates included in the survey. “Snyder probably does have a story to tell,” but he’s not conservative enough for Iowa, where the polls show many Republicans have already found candidates they like, Jensen said. “It may be too late for Snyder to really make an impact there,” he said.

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