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House bills would allow concealed carry without a permit

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Gun owners in Michigan would be able to carry a concealed weapon without a permit under a package of bills introduced this week in  Lansing.

Rep. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, sponsor of one of the bills, said the permit requirement and related fees put an undue burden on lawful gun owners who want to conceal carry for self defense. 

"It's really just making sure that we're protecting the rights of law-abiding citizens," said Runestad. "Criminals will never adhere to any laws."

According to Runestad, the proposed legislation does not change who is prohibited from carrying a firearm, and people stopped by law enforcement would still need to reveal that they are carrying a concealed weapon.  

But a safety training course would no longer be required to carry a concealed gun.

"We are required to take a driver's test occasionally to get or maintain our driver's licenses, but tens of thousands of people are killed in traffic accidents every year, regardless of having passed a state-sanctioned training course and paying to obtain a license," Runestad said in a press release. "Bureaucracy and fees do not make people better drivers. Requiring a special permit to carry a concealed weapon just forces inefficient spending and inconveniences responsible gun owners."

"Today where you can open carry anywhere, there's no permit required," said Runestad. "The only difference is if you put a coat on, well then suddenly you're required to have a permit." 

He thinks concealed carry permit requirements should be eliminated, rather than applied to open carry.

Runestad said the current permit fee of more than $100 every five years is an unfair tax on Second Amendment rights.