On March 4, 2015, Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill that would change the way concealed pistol licenses (CPL) were issued. Yesterday that bill went into effect. According to the Governor, the new bill will “streamline” how CPL’s are issued. However some, including those at Nessel & Kessel Law, are concerned that the new law will allow for more potentially dangerous persons to possess and conceal weapons.
Under the “old system” each county had a 3 member “gun board” that would consider applications for CPL’s. The board’s were comprised of various law enforcement officials; one of which was usually a member of the County Sheriff’s office. If the applicant was not expressly prohibited by law from receiving a CPL, the board could still request an interview with the applicant. The application could then be granted or denied based on the interview.
Under the new law, these gun boards have been dissolved. When a person applies for a CPL, the clerk’s office has 45 days to issue a CPL. If the applicant does not receive a denial after 45 days, his or her application will actually serve as a valid, temporary permit. Additionally, now it is the county clerks and state police that will take responsibility for the application process. Applicants must disclose whether they’ve been diagnosed with any mental illness. However, federal law prohibits the Michigan state police (which will now determine an applicant’s eligibility) from gaining access to mental health records. The only exception is if the applicant was involuntarily ordered to receive treatment by a court. Thus it’s likely no one will catch an applicant if he or she lies.
All this means that it will now become easier for citizens of Michigan to obtain CPL’s. Unfortunately the minimal training required to receive a CPL does not do nearly enough to prepare a person in the event that they are forced (or simply choose to) use their firearm. It is all too often that a person who legally owns and conceals their firearm will find themselves charged with a crime based on their use of the weapon. It only takes a few seconds and a person can find themselves facing gun charges like Felonious Assault, Brandishing a Firearm, Reckless Discharge of a Firearm, and Felony Firearm.
If you or a friend or family member has been charged with a gun crime, contact the defense attorneys at Nessel and Kessel Law.