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Michigan's Snyder Vetoes Bill Allowing Concealed Guns In Schools

Gov. Rick Snyder has vetoed a bill that would have allowed concealed pistols to be carried in schools and other places where they had been banned. The Michigan legislature had approved the legislation when its lame-duck session ended Thursday — one day before the Newtown elementary school shootings.

As NPR's Rick Pluta reported for today's Morning Edition, Snyder has said that Friday's tragedy played a role in his consideration of the bill:

"You can't have it not impact you and my thoughts and prayers go with everyone in Connecticut. I know that we all share that view."

As Pluta reported from Michigan, "The governor's office has been flooded with more than 6,000 phone calls, emails and Web messages on the subject. And the margin is almost five to one urging him to veto the legislation" and not allow guns in schools.

The issue of stronger gun control laws has risen in prominence in the days since Friday's brutal attack. As we reported earlier today, President Obama is supporting an effort to reinstate a ban on assault weapons, and the NRA issued its first mass communication since the tragedy unfolded.

In a statement issued this afternoon, the governor said that Michigan needs a comprehensive review of its gun policies, not a law that doesn't allow schools, hospitals, and day-care centers to opt out of the concealed-carry plan.

"While we must vigilantly protect the rights of law-abiding firearm owners, we also must ensure the right of designated public entities to exercise their best discretion in matters of safety and security," he said. "These public venues need clear legal authority to ban firearms on their premises if they see fit to do so."

Snyder did not reject two other bills dealing with guns. He signed one "to streamline the process for handgun purchases," and another to "eliminate restrictions on interstate rifle and shotgun transactions to states contiguous to Michigan," according to the statement from his office.

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Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.
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