New Concealed Carry Law Makes Michigan a True "Shall Issue" State
On December 1st, a new state law governs how concealed pistol licenses are issued in Michigan. County gun boards [consisting of the sheriff, prosecutor and a state police representative] are out; county clerks are in.
While Michigan has been considered a "shall issue" state, the county gun boards did have some discretion in the issuance of the concealed pistol license. Under the new law, provided an applicant meets the requirements -taking the concealed weapons course, age requirement, and no protection orders or felony convictions- a license must be issued.
"Shall issue" states are states that have adopted gun laws that call for administrative licensing provided that specific requirements are met; "may issue" states have laws that grant the licensing authority some discretion in the issuance of a permit. Over the last quarter century, the overwhelming trend across the nation has been the adoption of "shall issue" concealed permit laws.
In 2014, just over 2000 applications for concealed pistol licenses were denied. Of those, 349 have been denied upon a determination by the gun board that the applicant was a danger to himself or to others.
The Second Amendment has survived intact, without erosion from the court system, for well over 200-years. Over the past decade, however, the weekly public shootings that erupt in random locations across the country have brought increased scrutiny to the hallowed "right of the people to keep and bear arms".
We have heard that the NYT is planning a weekend editorial on the front page addressing the "epidemic" of gun violence in America; its first front page editorial since 1920. Gun violence is one of those touch-button issues on which people are deeply and intractably divided, and on which there is no likelihood of consensus; not in the public and not in Congress.
The rapidly increasing body count will not serve to fashion a consensus on this issue.