Michigan House bill would decrease punishment for lapsed concealed pistol licenses

From MLIVE: Michigan House bill would decrease punishment for lapsed concealed pistol licenses

Michigan gun owners caught carrying a concealed pistol on an expired license would see a lighter sentence under legislation recently passed by the Michigan House.

Currently, carrying a concealed pistol with an expired concealed pistol license, or CPL, is a felony punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment, a $2,500 fine or both.

House Bill 4434, sponsored by state Rep. Matt Hall, R-Emmett Twp., would make the first offense for the violation a civil fine of $330 if the license had lapsed in the previous year, as long as the person was still eligible for a CPL. The bill passed in the House 90-19 with bipartisan support.

Under the legislation, if a person obtained a renewal license within 60 business days of the violation, the person wouldn’t have to pay the fine. Subsequent violations in the same year would become a misdemeanor punishable by punishable up to 90 days in prison, a fine of $500 or both.

Those found carrying a concealed pistol with a CPL expired for more than a year would also be subject to a misdemeanor under the bill.

Hall said the legislation was “common sense criminal justice reform,” noting on the House floor that a felony charge and expensive court case is a hefty punishment for expired paperwork.

Hall added the charge is treated differently depending on where the violation was committed in the state – some prosecutors will let the violations slide, while others pursue the toughest punishment option available, he said.

The legislation was supported by several gun rights advocacy groups, including the National Rifle Association, Michigan Gun Owners and Michigan Open Carry.

Opponents included Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and the Michigan State Police.

The House also passed legislation sponsored by state Rep. Beau LaFave, R-Iron Mountain, to allow a person to transport a loaded shotgun on private property in a car, all-terrain vehicle, or four-wheeler.

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