On Tuesday, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder vetoed a bill that would have allowed gun owners with extra training to carry concealed weapons in schools, day care centers, churches, and stadiums. The measure was passed by the state legislature last Thursday in what the Detroit Free Press described as "the final hours of a frenetic lame-duck session, in which all sorts of controversial legislation was passed and sent to Snyder." Passage came one day before the fatal shooting of 20 first-grade students and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut on Friday, but the bill did not go to the governor until Tuesday afternoon, the Free Press reported.
In his veto message, sent to the lawmakers shortly before 4 p.m., the governor said the bill lacked a provision that would have allowed institutions to opt out and prohibit concealed weapons on their own authority.
"I believe that it is important that these public institutions have clear legal authority to ban weapons from their premises," Snyder wrote. "Each is entrusted with the care of a vulnerable population and should have the authority to determine whether its mission would be enhanced by the addition of concealed weapons."
The governor had been under intense pressure to veto the bill, with many opponents citing the mass killing in Connecticut as evidence of the need to keep guns out of schools. Some expressed relief Tuesday at news of the veto.
"In light of the tragic loss of children's lives in Connecticut, this was simply not the time to recklessly advance the expansion of concealed weapons in Michigan," said state Rep. Shanelle Jackson, a Democrat from Detroit. "Instead, our policies should focus on improving the safety of our children and the quality of their schools, including the provision of mental health care to our kids who need it."
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Photo of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder: AP Images