A Michigan Republican introduced a package of bills that would hold businesses and government entities with gun-free zones liable if a shooting occurs on their grounds.
State Rep. Gary Eisen (R-St. Clair Township) said House Bills 4975 and 4976 would ensure that government agencies, businesses, and private property owners can be held liable for negligence if a shooting occurs in a gun-free zone. Eisen believes that gun-free zones have “become targets for mass shootings because criminals who have no regard for the law know that law-abiding citizens are defenseless in these areas.”
He pointed to data from the Crime Prevention Research Center, which showed that 98.4 percent of mass shootings between 1950 and 2016 happened in gun-free zones.
“When someone enters a gun free zone they get a false sense of safety. In reality, they have become the number one location choice for the bad guys,” Eisen said. “By not letting an individual with a concealed pistol license carry their firearm on their property or in their building they should assume the responsibility to provide protection to that individual. How the property owner supplies that protection would be up to them – guards, metal detectors, etc. – as long as it is adequate.”
Eisen, himself a firearms instructor, said his goal for the legislation is to encourage property owners to with gun-free policies to increase their security efforts.
“What level of security should one expect when one goes into a gun free zone – better known as a killing zone?” Eisen continued. “Posting a sign outside of a building declaring it a ‘gun-free zone’ does nothing to protect the people of Michigan from criminals looking to do them harm.”
His bills were referred to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration. In the event that they passed both the House and the Senate, the bills likely would be vetoed by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Michigan House of Representatives” by MittenStatePhototog CC2.0.