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Snyder vetoes air gun legislation


Gov. Rick Snyder has vetoed legislation that would have relaxed restrictions on guns that use air-power to shoot pellets, BBs, paintballs, and other projectiles.

The legislation was supported by the NRA and gun rights groups, but opposed by many local government officials who would have lost a lot of authority to regulate air guns within their borders.

The NRA says Michigan is one of only four states that classify air guns as firearms.

Gov. Snyder says he vetoed the bills because they were part of an incomplete package of legislation. He says they would have changed the definition of what a firearm is in some state laws, but leave them untouched in others.

“Pneumatic guns would no longer be considered ‘firearms’ under the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act or for certain purposes under the penal code, but they would remain "firearms" for purposes of Michigan's firearms law,” said Snyder’s veto message to the Legislature. He says that “...would result in a situation that would be extremely confusing for both law enforcement and gun owners.” 

The Legislature can revisit the issue in its new session next year.

The governor also vetoed a liquor license fee bill. It would have reduced fees for bars and restaurants that are issued liquor licenses that are in effect for less than nine months, and lifted some restrictions on selling alcohol at multiple locations. In his veto message, Gov. Snyder says he had concerns over the loss of revenue, and because the bill would also limit the penalties for multiple instances of illegally serving alcohol to minors or visibly intoxicated people. The bill was sponsored by state Rep. Scott Dianda, D-Calumet.

Gov. Snyder also signed several bills, including measures to fund training at universities for health professionals who will treat autism spectrum disorders.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.