By Jessica Mathews /

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has vetoed legislation sponsored by a local lawmaker that would have required county clerks to keep processing concealed pistol licenses during state-declared or locally declared emergencies.

Republican lawmakers passed the bill after receiving complaints that clerks refused or delayed issuing or renewing permits when the pandemic struck. In a letter to legislators Friday, the Democratic governor said the measure would have mandated that clerks issue licenses without regard to the scope or gravity of the emergency or whether in-person services would jeopardize clerks.

The bill was sponsored by Republican Senator Lana Theis of Brighton Township, who called the veto disappointing for gun owners and said Second Amendment rights can't be infringed.

Senate Bill 11 would have required county clerks to continue to issue and renew concealed pistol licenses regardless of any shutdown issued by executive order or public health order. County clerks and law enforcement would have also been required to continue providing the fingerprinting services necessary to obtain a new CPL.

Additionally, the bill would have enabled the Michigan State Police to provide personal identification numbers to CPL holders, so they could renew their licenses online during any declared emergency.