Gov. Snyder vetoes concealed weapons bill

Gov. Snyder vetoes concealed weapons bill

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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (Credit: Fox 2 News) Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (Credit: Fox 2 News)

By Alexis Wiley
Fox 2 News


SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -- Days after the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder vetoed the state's latest gun bill Tuesday.  The legislation would have allowed concealed weapons to be carried in churches, schools and daycare centers.

There are plenty of teachers and parents who are breathing a sigh of relief, but there are others who say this bill would've given us a tool to keep people safe.

"Two RAs came from another part of the dorm.  One was one of my best friends.  He stopped to yell at me to tell me where it was at.  The RA that passed him went up to the floor and was killed," said Snyder.  "It most likely should've been me."

The governor told his own story of school violence to Fox 2's Tim Skubick.  He gave the interview not long before he vetoed a bill that would've allowed gun owners with extra training to carry a concealed gun into places like schools and daycare centers.

"We're glad to hear this.  I think educators all over the state are glad to hear this," said Madison District Public Schools Superintendent Randy Speck.  "This is the right move."

Speck has been against the bill from the very beginning.

"Schools are constantly looking for the right ways to keep our kids safe, and a bill that gets pushed through in the middle of the night, we don't have an opportunity to participate in that discussion," Speck said.

"It was an excellent opportunity for him to enhance safety in the so-called pistol free zone," said Rick Ector.

An opportunity Ector said the governor missed.  He runs his own firearm academy and is part of Michigan Open Carry.  He said tragedies like the Connecticut massacre prove why this bill belongs on the books.

"If someone would've been there in that pistol free zone, quite possibly maybe a loss of life could've been averted," Ector said.

"This isn't the movies, and we don't become magically proficient using guns in a 30 minute period," said Speck.

"Criminals do not obey the law.  I mean, you could put another 20,000 laws on the books.  You could put up a billboard sign and say no guns, but you know what, like we saw in Connecticut, a deranged psychopath does not obey the law," Ector remarked.

But regardless of where you stand on guns and schools, there is one thing on which we can all agree.

"It's important that we all take a look and evaluate what's happened this past weekend and particularly for school districts all over the state to evaluate how we're going to keep our children safe," said Ector.

If this bill isn't the answer, the question is what is.  Speck said he wants to see more funding for police liaisons in schools.  Of course, that's just one of many suggestions and this conversation is far from over.

Question and Answer

HUEL PERKINS: Since the current version of this bill has been vetoed, is there a chance we could see another version down the line?

WILEY: I don't think it will happen anytime soon, but I did speak with a lawmaker who said that if it does end up back on the table, they'll work with the governor to draft a bill that better addresses his concerns.

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