Law enforcement, lawmakers worry about removal of Concealed Pistol License Classes

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The need for a concealed weapons license may soon be completely eliminated for Michigan gun owners. A bill recently passed by the House of Representatives would allow gun owners to bypass the permit requirements.

However, even some Republicans have reservations about the bill.

"It sounds good, and I like it, on the surface," said State Senator Tom Casperson (R). "There are some concerns though, and I've talked to people that are part of gun organizations that would be all in, or so I thought, and even they share a few concerns, mainly on the educational piece."

Besides the license, this new law would also eliminate the training one must go through to become C.P.L. certified.

"Right now you're required to go through a concealed weapons course which basically teaches you the basics of operation, when you can use it, when you can't use it, how to carry it, how not to carry it," said Blake Rieboldt, Chief of Police for the Marquette City Police. "Then they actually bring you out on the range and show you how to operate that weapon."

Law enforcement and lawmakers are now wondering how they would get that information to gun owners, if they're no longer required to take classes.

"I think there's going to be a little debate on it as far as how we go about this in concept," said Casperson. "I think that the educational piece of it is still going to be something that's going to be looked at as maybe needed when it's all said and done. Not to restrict people, but to really help people who want to do this."

Though it's unclear how this bill will play out in Lansing, as it now has to pass the Senate and be signed by Gov. Rick Snyder, law enforcement say they hope to continue to be a part of the conversation.

"Obviously my biggest concern as the Chief of Police, is making sure our officers are safe on a daily basis when they're out interacting with people, and to ensure that the people that shouldn't have guns that we're having contact with, don't have guns," said Rieboldt. "A majority of the people that are carrying concealed do it in a very lawful fashion and are very responsible.'

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