DETROIT (WXYZ) - In a Friday afternoon statement, the president of Michigan’s largest teachers union, the MEA’s Steve Cook, urged Governor Rick Snyder to veto a gun billed passed overnight in the state legislature.
“Regardless of what the details and facts are of today's events in Connecticut, this nation must have a real conversation about guns and the safety of our students and those who care for them,” Cook wrote.
The union president offered the condolences of the Michigan Education Association’s members and said, “I am a gun owner and avid outdoorsman, but something must be done to protect our children from such acts of violence.”
In the early hours of Friday morning, the Michigan Legislature passed a bill allowing people who undergo extra training to carry concealed weapons in places such as schools and churches where they previously were off-limits.
In his statement, union president Cook said, “Those who think that students and teachers will be safer with MORE guns in our schools are just plain wrong. Thinking that teachers should carry weapons and fire on threats is a recipe for even more death -- not safety,” he said.
“I hope Governor Snyder understands this and vetoes SB 59, not only for the safety of our children but out of respect for those who died today in Connecticut,” Cook said Friday.
The Republican-controlled House approved the bill early Friday morning after it cleared the Senate on Thursday. It now goes to Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature.
Another provision would eliminate county concealed weapons licensing boards, with sheriffs taking over their duties.
Under the bill, people who carry concealed weapons in gun-free zones would have to get enhanced training beyond basic requirements and spend additional time at the gun range. "Open carry" in those areas would be prohibited.
Decisions on licenses would have to be made within 45 days after an application is filed.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)
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