Recently, someone posted the following to our Facebook Page:
You really let me down with the email that was sent to me. I am a state corrections sergeant, and we have been trying for a while for this exemption. But I also agree that their should be no PFZ's, but I also think that LE and Corrections should hold a little more weight than your average citizen. I am sure that we have more training in use of force than most citizens. Also I would like to add that even with the exemption, it would not stop me in helping in your cause to abolish PFZ's.
Here is my response:
Hi Trevor, I am the President and Legislative Director of Michigan Open Carry, Inc. As such it is my responsibility to make recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding our position on certain legislative policies and enforce the ones that they approve. It's been a long standing policy that we vigorously oppose all "carve out" bills, such as this one.
We advocate for every person, regardless of race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, creed, or job. Let me address a few points.
- Did you know that many people (who do not have government jobs) take it upon themselves to get yearly firearm training (way above and beyond their CPL class) to improve their abilities. They also expend thousands and tens of thousands of rounds a year at the range to hone those abilities. These people expend their own money to take this training and to buy the ammunition that they shoot. Given that, why should you, someone whose employer pays for your training and the ammunition you get your extra “special” training/practice with (that other people supposedly don’t have) be treated as a special person? Why should your ability to protect yourself matter more than those people who pay for their own training? By the way, the money used to fund your training and buy your ammunition was STOLEN by the FORCE of law from the same people that you now claim to be more “special” than. Yes, you may fund some of your own training and ammunition, but its not that training or ammunition that you are claiming which makes you special – it’s the training you get on your job. Shouldn’t all people who receive extra training be allowed to carry, if you are allowed that?
- Did you know the group most responsible for opposing the elimination of Pistol Free Zones? It’s law enforcement. The Michigan Sheriff Association and the Michigan Prosecutors Association have both opposed Pistol Free Zone elimination. Given that law enforcement has opposed the expansion of rights recognition for everyone, why should a group that represents the general population support expansion of rights for law enforcement?
- Did you know that one of these “special” classes that they were trying to ram through last session was prosecutors. Exactly what firearm training do prosecutors have?
- The testimony given by the corrections officers last session was the following:
- A man’s wife was out exercising in her neighborhood when she was approached by representatives of a convict and threatened. Consider the following: She wasn’t in a PFZ when threatened, she was out and about in her neighborhood. Why doesn’t she already have a CPL and carry? She could have been carrying under existing statute and protected herself, but she choose not to. How will granting special rights to corrections officers help her? She’s not a correction officer herself, so even if she was in a PFZ giving corrections officers an exemption wouldn’t have helped HER, as she is not one.
- A corrections officer was approached by representatives of a convict while walking out of a party store. Consider the following: Party stores are not PFZs.
The reality is we all face threats in our daily lives. What makes your life more worth protecting that anyone else?
As far as you would keep helping us fight the good fight, great! I’m afraid that not nearly everyone in your situation would. Why should we support special rights for you when lobbying groups that represent law enforcement oppose the same for everyone else?
The bottom line is: these special classes/exemptions represent politicol favortism and noth the promotion of equal rights.
This open letter by Tom Lambert to the Senate Judiciary Committee also explains MOC's position.