By Jon King & Mike Kruzman /

A local lawmaker is among those sponsoring new legislation that would allow for the concealed carrying of firearms in Michigan without a license.

Michigan Senate Republicans last week introduced a series of so-called “Constitutional Carry” bills that would repeal the current requirement to obtain a concealed pistol license for individuals who are not otherwise prohibited from possessing a pistol. The package will also allow concealed carry without a license where either open carry or concealed pistol license holders are currently allowed to do so.

State Senator Lana Theis of Brighton Township, who sponsored one of the bills in the package, said the legislation "simply recognizes and restores Michiganders’ constitutional rights and would allow law-abiding adults to carry a firearm, concealed or in the open, without a license.”

The specific bill she sponsored, Senate Bill 492, would allow concealed carry of a pistol in a vehicle under any circumstance. Currently, state law prohibits the carrying of a pistol, “in any vehicle operated or occupied by the person, except in his or her dwelling house, in his or her place of business, or on other land possessed by the person.”

A release from Michigan Senate Republicans states that while Michigan is a “so-called ‘shall issue’ state, residents must first complete a state approved pistol training course, submit their fingerprints to a state database, and pay a $100 application fee in order to receive a concealed pistol license.” The license expires after 5 years, and license holders must pay $115 to renew it.

Senator Tom Barrett said the bills do not stop requirements for background checks when firearms are purchased. “There is no evidence that these current laws actually keep us safer,” said Sen. Tom Barrett, R-Charlotte. “Individuals already undergo a background check when purchasing a firearm and these bills do not stop that requirement. Instead, this forced government revenue stream requires law-abiding citizens to jump through hoops to exercise their constitutional rights.”

The bills are part of a trend of Constitutional Carry legislation passing into law across the country. In 2010, just three states had such laws. By 2017, it was ten. In 2021, there are 20 states with Right-to-Carry laws on the books.

Senate Bills 489-492 were referred to the Senate Government Operations Committee for further consideration.