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Politics

Michigan lawmaker seeks to change state's firearms laws

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The Gun by Auraelius is licensed with CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/
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State Representative Steve Johnson, a Wayland Republican, says it’s time to do away with what he calls a “coat tax".

The bill is supported by Great Lakes Gun Rights which is Michigan’s affiliate of the National Association for Gun Rights.

Article 1, Section 6 of Michigan’s Constitution reads “Every person has a right to keep and bear arms for the defense of himself and the state.”

Under current state law, gun owners can open carry without a permit, but conceal carry a firearm requires a permit and without one it’s a five-year felony offense. Johnson contends there’s no mention of permits or government oversight.

“Individuals already can carry a pistol openly if they are over 18, but risk a felony simply by putting on a jacket or untucking their shirt," Johnson said in a news release. "This ‘coat tax’ should be repealed".

Twenty states now have what are called “Constitutional Carry” laws on the books. Johnson’s legislation would also do away with the “duty to inform” clause requiring anyone in possession of a licensed concealed weapon disclose that information in the presence of a law enforcement officer.