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Open Letter On SB 53 To Senate Judiciary Committee

Dear Honorable Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee,

I am writing to you today to ask that you NOT recommend SB 53. SB 53 will create yet another special group of people that will have more rights than everyone else.

While we agree that SB 53 was drafted with good intentions, and we fully support more people having the ability to protect themselves, we respectfully disagree on what SB 53 will achieve. Section 5o of PA 381 of 2000 (MCL 28.425o) created a list of places that are commonly referred to as "Pistol Free Zones", or "Mass Murderer Empowerment Zones" as we call them.

The original Section 5o, as passed in 2000, contained ZERO (0) "carve outs" or special classes of people to whom the PFZs do not apply. Over the next 14 years, 14 special classes of people were exempted from these zones. 14 special classes of people who now have more rights than the rest of us. 14 special classes of people who's lives were determined to mean more than everyone else. This year is the 15th year since Sec. 5o was created and SB 53 will add the 15th group. We say no more.

Senator Jones, the bill's sponsor, has said that SB 53 does not create another class, it only adds people who were left out of the original law by mistake. We respectfully disagree. As we pointed out earlier, the original law did not contain exemptions. Furthermore, we suggest that a simple fix would not take 15 years.

We have also heard that bills like SB 53 "chip away" at the aforementioned zones, thus increasing the probability of their elimination. We respectfully disagree with this too. We believe it is not the zones that are "chipped away" from, but rather the support for their elimination. Every time another class is exempted, that is another group of people who no longer have to fight. There is a plethora of examples at both the State and Federal level where people are exempted from a law to keep them from fighting against it. There are even examples of exemptions being added later though an order by an executive.

Another argument that we have heard is that SB 53 deals with a group of people who are more at risk due to their profession. While we are sympathetic to the message, we are unable to find, and have yet to hear about any examples to corroborate this claim. We have also been unable to find any data to back up the claim that retired federal law enforcement officers face a greater risk in these zones than the general public. 

Lastly, we do not come to you without a solution. Our solution is to make this bill benefit everyone. Our suggestion is to pick one of the zones in Sec. 5o and eliminate it, in addition to the changes already proposed in SB 53. This can be done in the same bill, it will benefit everyone, and it will cause Michigan Open Carry, and we believe the entire gun community, to vehemently support SB 53. We have heard from Senator Jones, as well as other members of the committee, that they would gladly vote for everyone. Well you can, this is how, and we will proudly stand with you.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. We are also happy to provide suggestions on which zone to pick.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 
Tom Lambert
Vice President
Michigan Open Carry, Inc.

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