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Michigan bill would basically eliminate concealed pistol license

BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. - It could soon be possible to carry a concealed gun without a permit in Michigan.

Some law enforcement are saying they’re nervous about this.

“Most traffic stops you have some level of anxiety because you don’t know who it is in the car, you don’t know if they’re armed. You just don’t know,” Sgt. Harvey Burnett of the Buchanan Police Department said.

Burnett says that concern is eased knowing Michigan residents must have permits to conceal weapons.

“Having a concealed weapons permit is very important not only for our safety, but for the community’s safety in general,” Burnett said.

However, that sense of safety is in now in jeopardy.

Wednesday, the Michigan House passed bill 4416, which would eliminate the need for a concealed pistol license to conceal carry.

“I support citizens that legally carry weapons or own weapons or things like that,” Burnett said.

Concerns from law enforcement, like the Berrien County Sheriff, is what lead Republican Rep. Dave Pagel to vote against the legislation.

“The law enforcement community was coming out pretty strongly opposed in general, so I weighed that back and forth,” Pagel said.

Pagel is a gun owner himself, and says he took the class currently require for a conceal permit.

“We have a lot of people who are brand new to guns and don’t have experience like I’ve had, and these classes give them some good lessons,” Pagel said.

Burnett agrees, and while he supports responsible gun ownership, he’s hoping the bill doesn’t make it through the Michigan Senate.

“Our job is to make sure the community is safe, and ourselves,” Burnett said.

The bill would not apply to felons banned from owning firearms.

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