Sky high permit fees, invasive background checks, being finger-printed like a common criminal, and government-mandated training.
This is what it takes to carry a pistol concealed, or in a vehicle, for self-defense here in Michigan.
Violating these unconstitutional requirements comes with some of the harshest penalties in the country.
Carrying without a Concealed Pistol License (CPL) in Michigan is punishable with up to five years in jail and a $2500 fine for what is essentially a victimless crime.
To put this in perspective, it is only a misdemeanor to carry without a permit in the gun control haven of California.
But here in Michigan, exercising your constitutional right to carry without first going through the bureaucratic rigmarole to obtain a CPL is punished MORE severely than physically assaulting a police officer.
Michigan’s permit is one of the most expensive to obtain and maintain with the 4th highest permit fees in the nation, and the state government is making a MASSIVE profit off of selling us back our right to carry.
In many cases, we’ve seen sheriffs and their associations across the country support these violations of the Second Amendment, forcing gun owners to jump through hoops to exercise their rights.
For example, the South Dakota Sheriffs’ Association actively lobbied against Constitutional Carry, giving weak-kneed Republicans the political cover they needed to oppose it.
As you know, Constitutional Carry is the simple idea that if you can legally possess a pistol, you should be able to carry it without having to get government permission or paying an expensive fee.
Gun owners eventually won out when Constitutional Carry became law in South Dakota just last year, but it only happened after a grassroots lobbying campaign was deployed exposing the anti-gun actions of several sheriffs across the state.
In other states, the county sheriffs reap a massive profit by selling gun owners back their rights via the “coat tax.”
This is the case in Alabama, where the Sheriffs’ Association is openly fighting against Constitutional Carry because of the perceived threat it presents to their funding.
Alabama Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director Bobby Timmons told members to contact their local legislators and to tell them to oppose Constitutional Carry “if you value your permit fund.”
The truth is that in state after state that has passed Constitutional Carry, there’s been no drop off in permit fees collected as gun owners are still wanting to obtain permits for interstate reciprocity.
The sad truth is that for some sheriffs, the concerns over the permit fees is just a disingenuous objection to Constitutional Carry, when in reality they are just outright opposed to the policy.
If we are ever going to make Constitutional Carry a reality here in Michigan, it must be made clear to sheriffs across the state that Michiganders expect their sheriffs to support this landmark pro-gun legislation.
And just like any other elected official, sheriffs are sensitive to grassroots pressure and it’s important we vet candidates before they take office.
Great Lakes Gun Rights has sent surveys to virtually every candidate running for County Sheriff to get them on the record when it comes to the Second Amendment.
If you get a chance, contact your candidates for sheriff and ask them if they have filled out their Great Lakes Gun Rights Candidate Survey.
While I’ve received a handful of survey responses from across the state, it falls well short of our goal to have a candidate on record in all 83 counties.
Considering that sheriffs execute laws handed down from the state legislature, the importance of lobbying them to support gun rights cannot be overstated.
This is highlighted by the fact that in the face of Virginia Governor Northam’s radical gun control efforts, Grayson County Sheriff Richard Vaughan boldly refused to enforce the anti-gun laws handed down by the Virginia Legislature.
In many cases, sheriffs may be all that stand between a citizens’ gun rights and tyrannical state lawmakers and governor looking to take them away.
That’s why it’s so important to get sheriffs on record regarding where they stand on key Second Amendment issues.
Great Lakes Gun Rights’ Candidate Survey asks candidates for sheriff their views on 10 specific gun rights policies that are important to pro-gun Michiganders.
This includes asking them about their views on Constitutional Carry, repealing Michigan’s draconian pistol registration scheme, opposing “Red Flag” Gun Confiscation orders and more.
This simple and straightforward survey will let us know where our candidates for sheriff stand on these key issues and if they can be counted on to stand up for our Second Amendment rights when it matters most...
...or if they will actively lobby against efforts to restore our gun rights here in Michigan.
So please, if you have an opportunity, talk with your candidates for sheriff and encourage them to return their Great Lakes Gun Rights Candidate Survey.
Let them know you expect them to stand up for your right to keep and bear arms.
And if they don’t, there will be political consequences.
The deadline to return their surveys is Thursday, July 16th, so time is of the essence.
Thanks for your continued support and activism!