I received an update from the NRA-ILA today on a Michigan House Bill that I have somehow missed up until now. HB 5085 can be read here.
The bill is designed to “clarify” existing laws on the books as well as allow for individuals under the age of 21 to be able to shoot at target ranges and in instructional classes. The exact wording related to this is as follows found at the end of page 7.
This section does not apply to a person who is younger than the age required under subsection (3)(b) and who possesses a pistol if all of the following conditions apply:
(a) The person is not otherwise prohibited from possessing that pistol.
(b) The person is at a recognized target range. (c) The person possesses the pistol for the purpose of target practice or instruction in the safe use of a pistol. (d) The person’s parent or guardian is physically present and supervising the person.PERSON IS IN THE PHYSICAL PRESENCE AND UNDER THE DIRECT SUPERVISION OF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
(i) THE PERSON’S PARENT. (ii) THE PERSON’S GUARDIAN. (iii) AN INDIVIDUAL WHO IS 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER WHO HAS SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED A PISTOL SAFETY TRAINING COURSE OR CLASS THAT MEETS THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 5J.
What this does is remove the parental training restrictions allowing for example a college student the ability to train away from home with a rented gun at a range in a certified training course.
The NRA has this to say about the Bill.
If passed and enacted into law, HB 5085 would reasonably expand the class of individuals who are allowed to supervise and instruct Michigans youth in the safe use of pistols. Under current Michigan law, an individual under the age of 18 is prohibited from possessing a pistol for the purposes of target practice or instruction in the safe use, unless the persons parent or guardian is physically present and supervising the person. As a result, responsible family members, close friends, range instructors and youth organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America are all effectively precluded from supervising and instructing in the safe use of a pistol in a controlled environment.
HB 5085 would amend current law to allow some of the above classes of individuals to provide pistol training and safety instruction to Michigans youth, while also ensuring that supervision is undertaken by a responsible adult who is trained in the safe use of a pistol. This legislation accomplishes this by providing that an individual who is 21 years or older, and has successfully completed a state certified pistol training course, may supervise and provide instruction on the safe use of a pistol at a target range.
As the father of a scout and a person who is working to see colleges allow for concealed carry this law is a great step forward. The fact that this law passed unanimously in the house is also encouraging. We need to stop treating 18-21 year olds as children. They can fight in wars, vote and be charged as an adult in a crime yet we are not allowing them the fundamental right of self protection. Hopefully this bill gets passed into law and it is the first step towards allowing responsible and trained young adults easier access to their rights.
In preparation for a House floor vote, please contact your state Representative and respectfully urge him or her to vote for HB 5085 without amendment. We will continue to update the status of HB 5085 as it progresses through the process.