What’s Next for Constitutional Carry?
After passing out of the House Military, Veterans and Homeland Security Committee on October 22nd, it was referred to the House Judiciary Committee, where it now awaits a hearing.
With no hearing on the horizon, now’s a good time to review where the committee members stand on Constitutional Carry:
State Rep. Graham Filler (R-HD 93) Committee Chair — Position Unknown
State Rep. Beau LaFave (R-HD 108) Majority Vice-Chair — Voted for in 2017 and in committee this year, returned GLGR survey in support.
State Rep. Diana Farrington (R-HD 30) — Voted for in 2017.
State Rep. Gary Howell (R-HD 82) — Voted for in 2017, returned GLGR survey in support.
State Rep. Steve Johnson (R-HD 72) — Voted for in 2017, sponsored in 2017 and sponsor of HB 4770-4774, returned GLGR survey in support.
State Rep. Daire Rendon (R-HD 103) — Voted for in 2017, returned GLGR survey in support.
State Rep. Ryan Berman (R-HD 39) — returned GLGR survey in support.
State Rep. Doug Wozniak (R-HD 36) — returned GLGR survey in support.
State Rep. David LaGrand (D-HD 75) Minority Vice-Chair — Voted against in 2017.
State Rep. Vanessa Guerra (D-HD 95) — Voted against in 2017.
State Rep. Brian Elder (D-HD 96) — Voted against in 2017.
State Rep. Tenisha Yancey (D-HD 1) — Position Unknown
State Rep. Kyra Harris Bolden (D-HD 36) — Position Unknown
As you can see, House Judiciary Chairman Graham Filler is the only Republican on the committee who has not taken a public stance on Constitutional Carry.
His campaign website indicates that he supports the “constitutional right to carry” — whether that means he supports Constitutional Carry legislation is unclear.
Filler is also a vocal proponent of criminal justice reform.
As I covered in my testimony on October 22nd and my recent communications, Constitutional Carry is criminal justice reform.
It prevents gun owners from inadvertently becoming felons for running afoul of Michigan’s draconian gun control laws.
Michigan law harshly punishes the carrying of a concealed pistol, or in a car, with a life-shattering five-year felony.
This is worse than California where it is only a misdemeanor.
Michigan law currently punishes the victimless crime of carrying without a CPL more severely than many violent crimes where there is an actual injured victim.
That’s why it makes perfect sense for Judiciary Chair Filler to hold a hearing and vote on Constitutional Carry (HB 4770-4774) as it is as much about gun rights as it is criminal justice reform.
I have a meeting with Chairman Filler in a few weeks, and I’d like to show him the broad support behind this legislation.
That’s why it’s important for you to click here to send him an email, or you can also call his office at (517) 373-1778. Your message to him can simply be: “Give Constitutional Carry (HB 4770-4774) a hearing and vote.”
Gun owners in Michigan are currently under one of the harshest and most onerous gun control regimes in the country when it comes to carrying a pistol for self-defense.
Not only are the penalties stiff for non-compliance, but Michigan’s CPL is also the 4th most expensive permit to acquire and maintain in the country.
The State of Michigan makes a massive 75% profit on selling us back our rights through permit fees.
While passage into law during this session is unlikely, by continuing to push Constitutional Carry now we are setting the table for eventual passage in the future.
It didn’t happen overnight in the states that now have Constitutional Carry laws on the books. It took over two decades for Constitutional Carry to become law in South Dakota. In Kentucky, it took only a few years.
In both those cases, it took persistence by pro-gun patriots to keep pushing Constitutional Carry legislation, even with the odds stacked against them.
Getting a vote on a version of Constitutional Carry in the Michigan House of Representatives in 2017 was a big first step.
Getting another vote on Constitutional Carry during this session is yet another step toward our eventual goal.
You see, every time we get a vote on Constitutional Carry, it gives us the opportunity to find out where our politicians stand on this important legislation.
And knowing that before the 2020 elections then allows gun owners to go out and lobby their politicians at a time when they are most susceptible to grassroots pressure when they are seeking your support at election time.
Politicians who vote against Constitutional Carry quickly learn that doing so came at high political cost, with several losing their political careers after voting wrong in 2017.
Former state representatives David Pagel, David Maturen, Chris Afendoulis, and Michael McCready all lost their bids for election in 2018 after voting against HB 4416, the 2017 version of Constitutional Carry.
While those who voted for Constitutional Carry performed much better at election time than those who voted against.
And candidates who ran on pro-Constitutional Carry platforms also outperformed candidates who remained silent on the issue in 2018.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Constitutional Carry isn’t going to become law in Michigan overnight.
We cannot afford to take our foot off the gas at any stage in this fight.
If we persevere, Lord willing, we will succeed in making Michigan a Constitutional Carry state.
Then please share this page with your pro-gun family and friends to get them involved in our fight.
Thank you for your continued support and activism!