The Michigan Senate passed a pro-gun bill on Nov. 8 that would allow any individual who has a Concealed Pistol License (CPL) to carry concealed weapons in what are currently considered “gun-free” zones, such as Grosse Pointe South.
The bill passed on a 25-12 vote through the Senate and moves to a the House where it’s expected to pass. However, Governor Rick Snyder vetoed a similar bill in 2012 after the Sandy Hook shooting.
“Anybody who has a CCW permit that undergoes an additional eight-hour course and then shoots another 94 rounds of ammunition, will now be allowed to carry concealed in what are now considered gun-free zones,” government teacher Michael Rennell said.
The Grosse Pointe Public School System held a board of education meeting on Nov. 27, where the board discussed the issue of carrying a concealed weapon on school grounds.
The Board of Education president, Brian Summerfield said the board is sending a letter to the governor asking to oppose this piece of legislation.
According to the letter, as a result of numerous school shootings across the nation, the presence of guns on school grounds or during a school sponsored activity has become an increasing concern of public schools all across the state.
“I wholeheartedly support this (letter) and appreciate the board taking stance on it,” Superintendent Gary Niehaus said via email. “Hopefully we can get some action out of the governor.”
According to Niehaus, it’s ironic the properly licensed individual can carry a concealed weapon into public areas such as schools and churches, but not into a public governing body in the state of Michigan.
“The safety and security of our students and faculty is our utmost concern,” Niehaus said.
According to Rennell, the hopes are a CCW licensed individual will be able to stop a mass shooting in case of an emergency but the reality of the situation is questionable.
“It’s going to cost school districts money even if you have a CCW permit and they come into the school and someone sees that gun, the school will have to go into lockdown. It’s going to take away from learning, it’s going to cost money because the police departments are all going to get called in,” Rennell said.
According to the letter, the MDE Emergency Plan Tool Kit specifies procedures– such as a lockdown– should still take place if there is a weapon on campus, the same way it would in the case of an emergency.
However, there are students in favor of the pending bill. Will Frame ’18 thinks a shooter is more likely going to enter gun-free zone because there is less of a potential threat of someone fighting back.
“I’d feel safer because the people who are allowed to carry inside these gun free zones have to go through additional training that would require them to be able to do this,” Frame said.
Bradley Brudick ’20 also is in favor of the bill because not just anyone can carry a concealed weapon in these places, only individuals who have gone through additional training.
“I think it’d be safer because in school shootings, you can’t blame every gun owner on one incident where a crazed lunatic shot up a school, it’s not everyone’s fault who owns a concleaded weapon,” Brudick said.
During the board’s meeting, the letter sent to Snyder opposing the pending gun bill was unanimously passed.
“I hope they come to their senses out there and come to the whole idea of having guns in schools,” Summerfield said. “It’s absolutely ridiculous to think guns belong in schools or any of these places. I don’t know how many more people have to die before people realize that’s the case.”