Gun shops, shooting ranges would stay open during state emergencies under GOP bills

Gun shops, shooting ranges would stay open during state emergencies under GOP bills

‘There’s no better time for Michiganders in terms of the pandemic to be able to protect themselves,’ bill sponsor says Spencer Platt/Getty Images The Michigan House Oversight Committee on Thursday held a hearing to discuss two bills aiming to modify state statutes regarding gun-related activities during emergency orders, such as those made throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Michigan was one of five states where stores selling guns and ammunition were required to close their doors throughout the duration of stay-home orders, since they did not qualify as essential services that were exempted from closing. The National Rifle Association (NRA) and its allies sued governors and local officials who mandated that the stores remain closed, saying the orders restricted Second Amendment rights. House Bill 5187 , introduced by state Rep. Andrew Fink (R-Adams Twp.), and House Bill 5188 , introduced by Rep. Pat Outman (R-Six Lakes), would change how firearms are dealt with when a state of emergency is declared, specifically pertaining to gun use in outdoor activities like fishing or hunting. The legislation also restricts state agencies from issuing an emergency order that shuts down businesses that sell guns from operating and prevents shooting ranges from shutting down. Rep. Rick Outman Outman testified that the bills “protect” Michiganders’ Second Amendment rights to gun-related activities amidst a pandemic and “provide safeguards” for fishing and hunting. “There’s no better time for Michiganders in terms of the pandemic to be able to protect themselves and their families during a statewide emergency,” Outman said. […]

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