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Whitmer vetoes bill to require CPL processing in emergencies

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Republican legislators call it a 'disappointing day' for Michigan gun owners.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed legislation that would have required county clerks to keep processing concealed pistol licenses during state-declared or locally declared emergencies.

Republican lawmakers had passed the bill, which was vetoed Friday, after receiving complaints that clerks refused or delayed issuing or renewing permits when the pandemic struck in 2020.

In a letter to legislators, the Democratic governor said the measure would have mandated that clerks issue licenses “without regard to the scope or gravity of the emergency or whether in-person services would jeopardize Michigan clerks. The bill would also require law enforcement agencies to prioritize the issuance of concealed carry permits — even when that would be a poor use of resources during an emergency.”

The sponsor, Republican Sen. Lana Theis of Brighton, called it a “disappointing day” for gun owners and said the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms cannot be infringed.

“People must be able to defend their life and property even, and especially, in times of emergency,” she said in a statement.

Whitmer declared a COVID-19 emergency in 2020, issuing orders to curb the deadly virus’ spread. Major restrictions including gathering limits and public masking requirements were lifted in 2021 after vaccines became available.

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