Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder signed two bills into law that will eliminate county gun boards in the state by the end of the year. County gun boards were once empowered to review and potentially deny applications for concealed pistol licenses in the state.
This makes Michigan a true “shall issue” state, as any applicant who does not fail a standard background check will be granted a CPL.
"These bills streamline how we issue concealed pistol licenses, creating a uniform system that will better support the rights of firearm owners in Michigan," Snyder said in a statement.
"I appreciate that the Legislature revamped this legislation, removing any unintended consequences that could have put domestic abuse victims in danger."
Gov. Snyder had previously vetoed similar legislation because he was concerned with a provision in the bill that would have removed blanket CPL prohibition for those subject to a personal protection order. A modified bill was passed by the Republican-led Michigan Senate in the first voting of the session, with the House passing the law shortly after.
The new laws require county clerks to issue a license to applicants who qualify and do not fail the background check within 45 days. The Michigan State Police will be responsible for the background checks and verifying eligibility.
Previously, the county gun boards could follow varying procedures and policies to decide whether or not to issue a license, including requiring a personal interview and setting their own timelines. Once the gun boards are removed, the subjective review and possibility for denial or delay based on the board’s decisions will be eliminated.
Critics of the legislation claim that removing local officials from the decision-making process could put people at risk by issuing permits to those who are known locally to be trouble but might not come up on the state’s or federal government’s background check systems. Supporters point out that Michigan is the only shall issue state in the nation still using the subjective review of local gun boards.
The new laws do not change the requirements for Michigan residents to obtain CPLs, including the mandatory eight-hour training course. The laws go into effect December 1.