Kenneth Herman, a father who was denied access to his daughter's school for having a handgun visibly holstered to his hip, won a lawsuit against Clio area schools of Michigan in August and in turn has generated a statewide debate among gun owners, The New York Times reports
Rarely do firearm owners disagree, however, the recent dispute is divided by proponents of open carry and owners who believe concealed weapons are more appropriate in certain settings.
A two-bill package was introduced by Republicans in the state Senate that would allow people with the proper permits to carry concealed weapons at schools and ban open carry, but the two sides are divided on the legislation.
"A concealed gun is no less dangerous than one that is visible," said Dr. Sonya Lewis of the Michigan-based Physicians for Prevention of Gun Violence at a committee hearing on the legislation, The New York Times reported.
"This is a very unusual bill in that it’s being attacked by the usual suspects — all the Bloomberg groups — and it's also being attacked by some of the open-carry groups," said Steve Dulan, a board member for the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners, which supports the bills. "We expect all the folks in the matching T-shirts to be against it. We didn't necessarily expect some of the guys wearing guns to be against it."
Currently, the state of Michigan bans concealed guns at schools, libraries, sports arenas, etc. however, state Sen. Arlan Meekhof, a Republican with a concealed pistol license has sponsored legislation that would prohibit open carry on school campuses, but require schools to allow concealed carry with the proper permitting.
"Someone exercising their right causes a disruption in education of our kids," said Meekhof, who is generally an open carry advocate.
Meekhof added, "I'm trying to find a way where people can still exercise their constitutional rights and not have the sight of a gun cause the school to lock everybody down."
According to the New York Times, the bill could come up for a vote before the end of the year.
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