Bill introduced allowing law-abiding citizens to carry in gun-free zones

UPPER PENINSULA — One state representative has introduced a bill that would allow gun owners with concealed carry permits to carry in gun-free zones.

State Representative for the 108th District, Beau LaFave, has recently introduced a bill that would allow law-abiding citizens to carry firearms in gun-free zones.

“The main tenant of the argument is, if you already have a FBI background check, you’re not a criminal, you’ve trained with your weapon and you got your permit, why are we signaling to the bad guys where there are zones where people can’t defend themselves legally?,” said State Representative, Beau LaFave.

These zones would include establishments such as churches, bars, sporting events, and schools.

“If the school wasn’t a gun-free zone, it would certainly compromise the safety of the students. Schools have always been a safe haven, a place we look to protect students, provide for their safety and well-being while they’re here. Parents want to know their children are going to be safe at school. Our philosophy has always been, no guns in school, that’s going to create the safest environment for us,” said Marquette Area Public Schools Superintendent, Bill Saunders.

Every school district would need to make their own decision as to if teachers along with the principal who have a CPL would be allowed to carry, eliminating the state law that would typically make this illegal.

“It would have absolutely no impact on students, even if 100% of the students hated guns and felt threatened by the presence of a weapon, it would have no impact because the fact of the matter is these guns will be concealed,” said LaFave.

Although this bill would make it legal for teachers to carry, a local school district is concerned with the impact on the students.

“Students need to feel like they are going to be safe in school and if we’re having to do more and more drills because there is potential for a gun to be in the school and learn how to react if you are a certain amount of feet away from it, that’s going to heighten the anxiety of the students and they wouldn’t feel as safe. That would certainly impact the work that they are able to do,” said Saunders.

If this bill ends up turning into a law, the property owner will be responsible for making the final decision of allowing concealed weapons in the establishment.