UPDATE: Gov. Rick Snyder vetoes Senate Bill 59.
Macomb Township Rep. Ken Goike (R-District 33) maintained his support of Senate Bill 59, which would broaden Michigan's concealed-carry laws, even as Gov. Rick Snyder seemed to pull back from the legislation this week.
"I wouldn't say I'm prepared to sign it by any means," the Republican governor told MLive.com.
The bill, approved by the State Senate in late November and the State House just hours before Friday's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, CT, allows gun owners with concealed weapon permits and additional training to carry firearms in schools, daycare centers and sporting events.
During an appearance on NBC's 'Meet the Press" Sunday, . The organization reiterated the appeal in a formal letter to Snyder that was shared with membership and media on Monday.
The Newtown shooting is a “chilling and heartbreaking reminder” that “firearms have absolutely no place in our schools,” they wrote. "You can set an example for Michigan and the nation by taking this small but significant step to reduce gun violence.
Snyder did not address the letter, but told MLive.com the incident prompted more questions.
"I haven't made a decision one way or another on it ... I need to see what it says," he said. "But the shooting gives you clear pause to say, 'Would this be appropriate?' That was a terrible thing to happen."
Macomb Township state representatives Goike 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 supports 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 will actually serve to tighten gun control, referencing its additional education and training requirements as well as the right of individual institutions' to still prohibit concealed weapons on their property.
"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.