Traverse City Record-Eagle

December 18, 2012

Gov. Snyder vetoes gun legislation

From staff and wire reports

DETROIT — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed legislation Tuesday that would have allowed concealed weapons in churches, schools and day care centers.

The Republican governor said in a press release that he seeks a more "thoughtful review" that includes school emergency policies and mental-health-related issues.

"While we must vigilantly protect the rights of law-abiding firearm owners, we also must ensure the right of designated public entities to exercise their best discretion in manners of safety and security," he said. "These public venues need clear legal authority to ban firearms on their premises if they see fit do so."

Traverse City Area Public Schools Superintendent Steve Cousins agrees with Snyder's move.

"I hope he vetoes it," Cousins said shortly before the veto was announced. "We don't need weapons in schools, even by people who have concealed permits. It doesn't fix anything, and it potentially puts kids in harm's way."

Snyder told The Associated Press Monday he was scrutinizing the bill after Friday's massacre at a Connecticut school. He also drew on memories of a fatal shooting in his college dormitory more than three decades ago. The legislation would have prohibited openly carrying guns in those places while allowing permit holders to carry concealed weapons. But they couldn't so if the locations declare themselves weapons-free zones under the state's trespassing laws.

Under existing law, people may openly carry guns in those and other locations, but it's illegal to carry concealed weapons in schools, churches and childcare centers.