Concealed Pistol License law goes into effect

Posted at 8:18 AM, Dec 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-01 08:18:54-05

When applying for a concealed pistol license, there will be one less layer to go through.

"No longer will the Gun Board be making a decision," explained Ingham County Clerk, Barb Byrum. "It will be up to the clerk to issue and the State Police to do the background check."

She say applicants won't really see a difference, it'll just be more work for clerks' offices.

"Ingham County issued around 2,500 concealed pistol licenses last year, so we process a lot of CPLs as it is," Byrum said. "It's going to take more work, but we look forward to serving the people of Ingham County."

Supporters who helped push the bill into law say this will make getting a CPL more fair.

"The truth is that personality conflicts led to some denials, wardrobe choices led to some denials," Steve Dulan of the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners told FOX 47. "Individuals will be screened based on the statute; and, if they have a disqualifying conviction, they'll be denied. So, the law will be more fairly administered."

And, he said the process will be more efficient.

"It should get both approvals and denials notices faster," Dulan explained. "The Gun Boards would meet generally once a month. And, a lot of the Gun Boards in the county would have people come in and essentially justify why they were getting a concealed pistol license, which isn't part of the law."

But, applicants in Clinton County aren't convinced. The clerk's office saw more than 30 applicants Monday morning.

"I think that going from 83 personnel that are signing the gun license for every county in the state of Michigan to eleven through the MSP is gonna put a backlog on the application process," said Michael Welch, who went in to renew his license Monday.

Welch added he also doesn't agree with the new process.

"You know, things are going to slip through the cracks and people that shouldn't have them will probably end up with 'em," he explained.

Because Welch thinks something could get missed with one less layer of oversight.

Byrum stopped accepting applications a couple of weeks ago, so her office could prepare for the changes. She's expecting a long line when her office opens at 8 a.m. today. She's also now accepting applications at both the courthouses in Mason and Lansing.