Michigan bill would allow concealed carry on college campuses



(The Center Square) – Michigan Republicans are pushing bills aiming to keep anonymous gun and ammunition purchases by credit cards as well as allow individuals with concealed pistol licenses to carry on college and university campuses statewide.

Rep. Gina Johnsen, R-Lake Odessa, introduced House Bill 4831, which aims to prohibit banks and credit card companies from requiring Michigan retailers to use specialized codes to label firearms purchases.

In September 2022, The Center Square reported that guns and ammunition purchased with credit cards show a merchant category code approved by the International Organization for Standardization.

Johnson said the government or financial companies could abuse the information.

“If there’s a legitimate reason to suspect criminal activity, law enforcement can follow the proper procedures and get a search warrant,” Johnson said. “However, we cannot allow companies to pry into the lives of law-abiding citizens or act as government enforcers. We must protect the privacy and rights of responsible gun owners, and not allow intimidation or intrusion into their lives.”

Triggered by the COVID pandemic, riots, and gun restriction bills moving under a Democratic trifecta Legislature wielding power for the first time in 40 years, more Michiganders are applying for concealed carry permits and likely buying guns as well.

Data from the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners show Michigan added 6,389 net CPL holders in May, the most significant monthly increase since June 2021.

HB 4285 aims to allow concealed pistol license holders to carry their firearms on college and university campuses. The bill follows a February shooting at Michigan State University that killed three students and wounded five others.

“Law-abiding gun owners should be allowed to carry on college campuses,” Johnsen said. “Everyone deserves the right to protect themselves and others. Disarming responsible individuals only puts lives at risk. By trusting lawful citizens and implementing sensible policies, we can create a safer environment for students, faculty, and staff.”

State law bans even those with concealed pistol licenses from carrying on school property, at child care centers, in sports arenas, bars where liquor is the primary source of income, places of worship, entertainment facilities with a seating capacity of more than 2,500, hospitals, college universities, and casinos.

The bill, if passed by the House and Senate and signed into law, would threaten financial institutions with a $10,000 fine per violation.

HB 4831 was referred to the House Committee on Insurance and Financial Services for consideration, while House Bill 4285 was referred to the House Government Operations Committee.

The bills will likely die in the Michigan government, where Democrats hold a trifecta. Democrat lawmakers who The Center Square reached out to for a comment on the gun bills haven’t yet responded.

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