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West Michigan State Reps. introduce bills limiting assault weapon open carry

Courtesy photos from campaign websites
Collage by WGVU

The bills are designed to decreasing threats to elected officials and protect educators, staff and students at public schools and institutions of higher learning

Two new Michigan House bills introduced Tuesday by Democratic State Representatives Kristian Grant from Grand Rapids and Phil Skaggs from East Grand Rapids would prohibit the open carry of assault weapons within 1,000 feet of government buildings. That includes buildings at the federal, state, and local levels.

Representatives Grant and Skaggs say House Bills 4205 and 4206 are designed to achieve two objectives. First, decreasing threats to elected officials, including judges, government staff and residents attending public meetings. Secondly, protecting educators, staff and students at public schools and institutions of higher learning. Grant and Skaggs point out there is no law currently on the books keeping individuals from openly carrying assault weapons on school grounds.

If enacted, knowingly carrying an assault weapon within these zones establishes first and second infractions are considered misdemeanors, third and subsequent violations would be five-year felony offenses.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.
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