Michigan would ease up on people who fail to renew their concealed pistol permit under a bill advancing in the Legislature.
It currently is a felony to carry a handgun on an expired license. Legislation approved 90-19 Friday by the Republican-controlled House would loosen the penalty to a civil fine -- as long as the permit had expired within the previous year.
A subsequent violation would be a misdemeanor.
Supporters say the current punishment is applied unevenly and is too harsh, because people forgetting to renew their license can get a felony conviction and lose their right to possess any firearm.
Critics say the proposed change is too lenient in light of the seriousness of carrying a deadly weapon in public.
The bill goes to the Senate for consideration next.
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