House Bill 4982 was introduced last year on the 21st of May to amend the Handgun Licensure Act of 1927 by Representative Jim Slezak concerning the carrying of a concealed pistol. If passed, it would allow prosecuting attorneys or assisting prosecuting attorneys which are licensed to carry a concealed pistol to carry them in zones which are marked as no-carry zones. They would be added to a list of individuals that the prohibited zones do not apply. Some of these zones which prohibit concealed weapons to be carried under the Handgun Licensure Act are schools, bars, churches, hospitals, entertainment centers which hold over 2,500 people, and several other public places. Currently on the list are law enforcement officers, retired police, and other various individuals such as parole officers with the Department of Corrections and most recently added is a state court judge or state court retired judge (H.B. 4982).. If this bill was passed, it would have no fiscal impact on state or local government. The economy is Michigan lawmaker's largest concern right now. If there is no fiscal impact to the bill then there is a better chance that they will not oppose the bill. There is no argument on wasteful spending. But obviously there are plenty of other arguments that could stop the legislation from going into effect.
By giving prosecuting attorneys the right to use their pistols in no-carry zones many are arguing that it is giving the elite another step ahead of the rest. Unlike retired police who have handled firearms in their everyday job, nothing makes it safer for a prosecuting attorney to carry a pistol in a gun-free zone than anyone else. In this case lawmakers may vote against this legislation arguing that if not all people can do it then it should not be any more allowed for them. If they want to keep adding job titles to the list of people allowed to carry the weapons then they should just get rid of the "no-carry zones" all together. In order for this bill to pass there is going to have to be good reason that the prosecuting attorneys and their assistants need special defense.
On the other hand prosecuting attorneys are doing exactly that, they are prosecuting the criminals. This may be a settling argument for whether or not they should be allowed to carry the concealed pistol where others cannot. There may be a fear that the defendant or someone on the defendant's side could cause harm to the prosecuting attorney in a heated trial. There have been instances like this in cases such as Burkesville, Kentucky. A man charged with child molestation shot the prosecuting attorney then himself the morning before they were due to face each other in court (Los Angeles Times).
There is already a great amount of concern with allowing anyone to carry a concealed weapon anywhere. If they keep adding people to the list allowing them to carry them on school grounds, inside churches, and other restricted areas there is going to be an even larger concern to people for their safety and for the safety of their family. Also, if this bill passes there may be argument from groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA) to eliminate gun free zones all together. They are going to demand the same treatment that lawmakers and law enforcers are getting. I find it very likely that if this bill passes it will only cause more issues to arise for lawmakers.
Los Angeles Times. Associated Press, 6 June 2000. Web. 24 May 2010. <http://articles.latimes.com/2000/jun/06/news/mn-38012>.