BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today hailed the Michigan Supreme Court’s ruling that upholds the validity of the state’s new concealed carry law, which is scheduled to take effect on Sunday. SAF founder Alan Gottlieb said the ruling will enable Michigan residents to exercise the same rights of self protection now enjoyed by residents of 32 other states.

“Enactment of this new law will highlight how much bias was a factor in the discretionary system that was designed to prevent people from defending themselves and exercising their rights,” Gottlieb stated.

In its decision, the state high court ruled that the $1 million appropriation added to the law does prevent its enactment from being delayed by referendum. Opponents may still seek an initiative to go on the 2002 ballot, and may begin gathering signatures in August.

“The Supreme Court wisely has overturned the earlier ruling by the Court of Appeals on this matter, upholding the state’s constitution, and at the same time protecting the firearms rights of Michigan citizens,” Gottlieb said. “I am confident that responsible Michigan gun owners will prove that the hysteria and emotionalism from anti-self defense extremists over the past few months has been all flash and no substance.”

The new law requires county gun boards to issue concealed pistol licenses to anyone 21 and older who meets specific qualifications. Those guidelines include no history of felony convictions or mental illness. Persons who have been convicted of certain misdemeanors must wait three years before receiving a permit, and a serious misdemeanor conviction, including driving while intoxicated, will delay receipt of a permit for eight years.

“Michigan residents, whether they choose to get a concealed carry permit or not, have all won with this decision,” Gottlieb said. “Discretionary licensing is tantamount to profiling, which is a practice that society has only lately discovered to be insidious. Thanks to the wisdom of Michigan’s Supreme Court, the Great Lakes State will put an end to that starting Sunday.”

His views were echoed by Dave LaCourse, the Public Affairs Director of SAF. “The abuse of power will become apparent by the many-fold increase in licenses issued in urban centers under the new law. Any effort to return to a discretionary scheme will likely face a lawsuit based on the arbitrary and capricious non-issuance Michigan residents have endured in the past,” said LaCourse.