Snyder Vetoes Bill That Would Have Allowed Guns in Schools
Macomb Township's Republican legislators supported the bill that would have allowed concealed weapons in gun-free zones such as schools and sports arenas.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has vetoed a bill that would have allowed concealed weapons into public schools and sports arenas, according to a report on Michigan Public Radio.
The Michigan Legislature passed Senate Bill 59 late last week that would have allowed concealed weapons in gun-free zones, but in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, CT, many had called for Snyder to veto the legislation.
David Hecker, Michigan President of American Federation of Teachers (AFT) said in a Friday statement, "We’re aghast that this lame duck legislature thinks it’s a good idea to put MORE guns in our schools, let alone places of worship or sports arenas...The House passed SB 59 on Thursday. How dare these lame duck legislators put the safety of students, educators and communities at risk. As our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims of today’s tragedy in Connecticut, we call on Governor Snyder to veto this ill-considered bill."
Macomb Township's state representatives Ken Goike (R-District 33) and Anthony Forlini (R-District 24) voted in favor of the legislation when it passed the House Dec. 13, while state Sen. Jack Brandenburg (R-District 11) supported the bill in the Senate days earlier.
When asked if he still supported the legislation following the Sandy Hook shooting, Goike maintained his belief that it is not "the instrument" that is the problem but rather a "mental health issue."
“Sane people don’t’ do things like that,” Goike said. “People that do have (gun) permits have education. They are not the ones doing this type of thing … It’s easy to fall on what was used to do the destruction. It’s absolutely horrible, but the true issue is we should be focusing more on mental health.”
Goike added his belief that the new law would actually serve to tighten gun control, referencing its additional education and training requirements.
"Bad people do bad things," Goike said. "Some things can’t be legislated, but we can try to somehow or another get bad people to be responsible people." He added he would support legislation to increase mental health services in Michigan.
On Monday, Snyder said he would re-evaluate the bill, and on Tuesday, he vetoed it.
Public school districts across Macomb Township have tightened their security this week in response to the Sandy Hook massacre. It is unknown if these modified policies will remain in effect when students return from holiday break in January 2013.
Dakota High School was put on lockdown Tuesday after administrators learned of an anonymous gun threat posted on a bathroom wall. The threat was determined to be false.