LANSING, Mich. – A move by Michigan’s House of Representatives to ease requirements for citizens to obtain concealed pistol permits was supported today by Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, a national gun rights group.

House Bill 4530, sponsored by Rep. Mike Green (R-Mayville), would require county gun boards to issue concealed carry permits, rather than deny permit applications with no uniform criteria. In essence, Michigan would join the ranks of other states that have passed “Shall Issue” laws. Under the bill, concealed carry would still be prohibited in certain public facilities, including churches, libraries and sports arenas. Day care centers would also be off limits.

“I’m delighted that Michigan lawmakers have wisely chosen to revive House Bill 4530,” Gottlieb stated. “Anyone familiar with the landmark study on concealed carry and its deterrent effect on crime, by Yale professor John Lott, would agree that legally arming more citizens in Michigan will send a message to criminals to find another occupation, or leave the state.”

Professor Lott’s findings were published in a book entitled More Gun, Less Crime, published by The University of Chicago Press.

“While this legislation does not provide for the personal protection needs of Michigan citizens everywhere, it is a solid first step,” Gottlieb commented. “A close look at states with so-called ‘shall-issue’ laws on the books will show that states, and even counties, with a higher percentage of legally-armed citizens have significantly lower incidents of violent crime, as shown in Professor Lott’s exhaustive study.

“Michigan citizens are certainly entitled to the same rights as gun owners in other states who have assumed responsibility for their own safety,” Gottlieb continued. “It’s time for Michigan to join these other progressive states, so its citizens can enjoy a higher degree of personal safety that will most likely be coupled with a decline in violent crime rates.”

The bill was passed out of the House Nov. 29 and sent to a conference committee. It could be reported out of committee as early as Tuesday or Wednesday.