When a politician says something…
When a politician says something, there is a question that you must always ask yourself: How does it benefit them if I believe it?
And that’s especially the case when dealing with a known political opponent, such as Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Let me explain…
On September 21st, I testified before the House Judiciary Committee in general support of House Bill 4003, which is a modest proposal that simply makes it so that a CPL holder doesn’t accidentally become a felon for carrying with an expired permit.
During that committee hearing, there were rumblings of the bill getting further watered-down to placate weak Republicans and to buy off Democrat votes to get Governor Whitmer’s signature on the bill.
Unfortunately, the House Judiciary Committee working along with the bill sponsor Republican State Rep. Matt Hall did just that on October 5th, and boy did they mess it up.
House Bill 4003 as it passed out of House Judiciary has all sorts of issues and sadly, it seems that Republicans are more interested in getting a “win” than actually passing sound policy.
As HB 4003 stands now, a person who accidentally carries with an expired CPL has to choose between violating their 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination and potentiality of becoming a felon.
The bill now also provides excessive protection to law enforcement agencies involved in the potential handling of cases of individuals carrying with an expired CPL, giving gun owners little recourse if their rights are violated under the bill.
Not only that, but it creates an unclear scenario where a CPL holder could face a felony conviction if a law enforcement officer is the one to discover the expired permit, instead of the CPL holder notifying the LEO first.
Think about this scenario: You get pulled over on your way home from work. Like a good law-abiding citizen, you hand the officer your driver’s license and registration as well as notify him (as you are required by law) that you are a CPL holder and carrying at that time.
Next thing you know, the officer informs you that you are carrying with an expired permit and are subject to arrest because you failed to inform him that your permit is expired.
In the hustle-and-bustle of life, you may have just completely forgotten about your renewal date, but it doesn’t matter if it was expired by one day or one week.
Under the unclear language of the bill, you becoming a felon or just receiving the civil infraction could be a matter of interpretation by an officer trying to honestly do his job of enforcing an unclear statute and a hostile prosecutor trying to make his way to higher office.
Finally, if the rumors are true that Governor Whitmer has signaled that she is willing to sign this watered-down version of an already modest proposal, anyone who is paying attention to Michigan politics has to ask the question, “Why would she do that?”
The current version of HB 4003 as passed by the House Judiciary Committee is a very small, convoluted improvement on current law. Yes, it’ll stop some CPL holders from becoming felons, but if it is so weak that an openly anti-gun Democrat Governor will sign it, one must ask if it is really an improvement at all.
And what does she get out of signing such a weak bill?
Well, take a look at the polls for the 2022 Governor election.
Governor Whitmer is clearly in trouble. Why else would she be refusing to mandate masks in school and lock down the state with heavy-handed COVID-19 restrictions?
And with this watered-down version of HB 4003, it’s no different. She signs a modest “pro-gun” bill and then gets to go around the state saying “I’m not as bad as those gun groups are saying I am.”
This is just bad Republican politics as usual.
Instead of forcing Governor Whitmer to expose herself as the anti-gun radical she is by vetoing even the most modest of pro-gun reforms, Republican lawmakers compromise to the point that it is of little policy value but gives an anti-gun Democrat Governor a “pro-gun” talking point for her re-election campaign.
Not to mention, the dozens of Democrat lawmakers in the House and Senate who will vote for the bill as well for political cover.
As I made clear in my testimony on September 21st, the introduced version of HB 4003, while a modest proposal, would be an improvement over current law, but ultimately Michigan needs Constitutional Carry.
I supported the bill as introduced, not this pile of watered-down garbage that the Governor is supposedly going to sign.
Are Republicans ever going to make the Governor sweat on a gun rights issue, or do they just plan on letting her skate by and maybe even give her a small victory?
Two things must happen if Republicans are going to show that they are actually serious about fighting for the Second Amendment:
● Send Governor Whitmer the as-introduced version of House Bill 4003, not the watered-down mess that came out of House Judiciary. Force her to veto (or sign) even the most modest of gun reform bills.
● Force her to veto Constitutional Carry and the repeal of pistol registration.
Gun owners expect Republicans to actually do something while they are in power. The excuse that the Governor will veto is lame and unacceptable.
Republicans must force Democrats to take tough votes and tough positions on the Second Amendment. You and I both know they would do the same thing with gun control bills if they were in power.
That’s why your lawmakers must hear from you.
With your help, we can set the table for big pro-gun victories for when Michigan has a pro-gun Governor again, but it has to start now.
Republicans are not going to show bravery on the Second Amendment of their own volition, but only with the persistence of the grassroots demanding that they act.
Thank you for continued activism and support!