Runestad votes against ‘good for headlines and nothing else’ gun ban bills

Runestad votes against ‘good for headlines and nothing else’ gun ban bills

LANSING, MI State Sen. Jim Runestad on Thursday voted against legislation pushed by Democrats that would criminalize law-abiding Michiganders for exercising Second Amendment rights in public 40 days before any election.

“At the end of the day, bad legislation is bad legislation, and I will not support the government infringing upon the constitutional rights of common citizens,” said Runestad, R-White Lake. “There are already laws on the books to address the kinds of situations these bills purport to address. Anyone brandishing a weapon in an intimidating or threatening manner — at a polling place or anywhere else — can and should be prosecuted under laws that already exist.

“Yet once again, we see that the Democrat majority is more concerned with flexing their slim majority to plow forward, blinded by their ideological agenda and no regard for facts or reason, to pass bills that are good for headlines and nothing else — talking points to please their base — rather than ensuring that prosecutors use laws already at their disposal.”

Runestad offered several amendments that he said highlighted glaring oversights and confusion created within the language of House Bills 4127 and 4128.

Amendments to allow for off-duty police officers to carry unconcealed weapons, in addition to on-duty law enforcement personnel that were already exempt under the bill, private guests to be included with the ban’s exemption for nearby property owners, and the transportation of a gun to a polling place if lawfully secured inside a vehicle, were approved to be included in portions of the legislation.

“Our police fulfill their duty to protect and serve both on and off the clock — there have been countless crimes foiled because an off-duty cop was nearby with a firearm,” Runestad said. “It unnecessarily subjects the public to danger and is outright foolish to limit exemptions only to on-duty officers. It is also reasonable to clarify that private guests should be protected along with owners whose property lines happen to be within 100 feet of a ballot box or polling place.

“As first presented, this legislation allowed you to drive past a polling location with a gun secured, but did not allow you to park and then, with your gun otherwise lawfully secured in the car, go and vote — that’s nonsensical. You should be able to park without breaking the law.”

A fourth amendment offered by Runestad, which was struck down, would have allowed for otherwise lawful open carry for non-election related business near ballot drop boxes during the bills’ 40-day prohibition window.

“When one considers the sheer number of drop boxes placed throughout larger communities, like in the city of Detroit, these places could be nearly impossible to avoid,” Runestad said.

“The targeted bans prescribed under these bills should not unreasonably infringe upon the lawful Second Amendment rights of people conducting lawful, non-election related business who just so happen to pass by or through one of these ballot box bubbles. That is perhaps the biggest problem with these poorly thought out ideological gun ban bills. This legislation is not reasonable or just.”


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