On Wednesday, the Michigan state house passed a package of bills to implement constitutional carry in Michigan. Constitutional carry means that the government does not impose any permits or fees before citizens can exercise their constitutional right to carry firearms. Around five years ago, support for constitutional carry moved from the fringe to a mainstream Republican position. Twelve states now have constitutional carry, and more are considering it.
The four bills received 59 to 61 yes votes, and 47 to 49 no votes. Three democrats voted for all four bills. They are
- John Chirkun – district 22 (Roseville)
- Phil Phelps – district 49 (Flint suburbs)
- Scott Dianda – district 110 (western UP) – running for state senate (district 38) in 2018
Seven Republicans voted against some or all of the bills. They are
- Kathy Crawford (against 3 of 4) – district 38 (Novi) – termed out in 2020
- Michael McCready (against all 4) – district 40 (Bloomfield) – termed out in 2018 – may run for senate (district 12)
- Martin Howrylak (against 2 of 4) – district 41 (Troy) – termed out in 2018
- David Maturen (against all 4) – district 63 (E Kalamazoo) – termed out in 2020
- Chris Afendoulis (against all 4) – district 73 (GR Township) – termed out in 2020 – may run for senate (district 29)
- Rob Verhuelen (against all 4) – district 74 (Walker) – termed out in 2018. Verhuelen ran against Tom Leonard for Speaker last year.
- Dave Pagel (against all 4) – district 78 (S Berrien) – termed out in 2018
The bills now go to the state senate, where it is not certain whether they will be taken up. It is also unclear whether Governor Snyder, who has a mixed record on gun rights, would sign them. Nonetheless, Speaker Tom Leonard and most Republicans in the state house deserve credit for getting them this far.