LANSING, Mich.—Sen. Mike Green introduced legislation on Tuesday to make Michigan’s concealed pistol license (CPL) process more efficient and cost-effective.
“Michigan residents currently pay one of the highest CPL fees in the nation, yet they must deal with inconsistent requirements from county to county and experience some of the longest delays in receiving a license,” said Green, R-Mayville.
“We are the only state in the nation that still uses gun boards to issue CPL’s. It is obsolete and needs to change. In an era of modern technology and record-keeping, we can do better and folks deserve better for their hard-earned dollars.”
Senate Bill 789 will make the CPL process more efficient by eliminating the county concealed weapons licensing boards created in 1927. Their authority would be delegated to county clerks who already accept applications and issue approved licenses. License decisions would have to be made within a strict 45 day time limit from the date fingerprints are taken. The current deadline is widely viewed as unenforceable.
Of the existing $105 license fee, the MSP receives the largest portion at $64, clerks $26 and sheriffs $15. Although receiving the smallest portion of the fee, sheriffs are required to conduct the time-intensive background and court records checks. Many sheriffs claim they lose money in the process due to the expense of assigning deputies to CPL’s.
To address this concern, Green is proposing that the MSP take over the background checks with no additional funding and allow sheriffs to keep $15 for fingerprinting on initial applications. Because fingerprints are now stored electronically and are not required for most renewal applicants, the renewal fee would be reduced to $90.
“My bill will free up local law enforcement resources from bureaucratic tasks to focus on public safety in our local communities,” Green stated. “More importantly, it will create a true ‘shall issue’ CPL system for law-abiding citizens while keeping licenses out of the hands of bad guys.”
Senate Bill 789 is supported by the National Rifle Association and the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners. It has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.