Michigan Gun Foes Drop Campaign For Anti-Gun Ballot Initiative

July 7, 2008 - 7:03 PM

(CNSNews.com) - Opponents of Michigan's new concealed weapons law said Tuesday they are dropping plans for a statewide referendum to overturn the law in next year's elections. Proponents said they were overwhelmed by circumstances both within and outside their control.

Representatives of the Detroit-based "People Who Care About Kids" said in a statement they would not mount a petition drive for a referendum because they don't have the money to run a campaign and without it, they're afraid the ballot initiative would be rejected.

Another group, the Michigan Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence said the national gun control organizations and wealthy individuals that referendum proponents were counting on to finance a campaign were skeptical about the chances of success, according to group spokesperson Carolynne Jarvis.

"It's not going to go forward," Jarvis said. She also told the Detroit Free Press that the group's hopes to raise the needed money evaporated when the terrorist attacks occurred against New York, Washington and a Pennsylvania airfield two weeks ago because efforts to raise money began to be concentrated on relief.

Jarvis could not be reached for further comment on Wednesday.

The Michigan Legislature passed the concealed gun legislation in December and Governor John Engler signed it into law. It requires concealed weapons licenses for adults who successfully complete a gun safety course and don't have a criminal record or a history of mental illness.

State officials in the capital city of Lansing said hundreds of new concealed weapons licenses have been issued since the law was enacted.

Gun Owners Of America said Wednesday it was happy that the issue will not be put before Michigan voters, especially after the recent terrorist attacks against New York and Washington, according to spokesperson Erich Pratt.

"This is a lousy time for gun haters to be arguing that guns are bad. The nation just saw what happened when you create gun-free zones, such as what airplanes are. Our ridiculous laws have even made it impossible for pilots to protect their passengers and as a result you give the advantage to criminals," said Pratt.

Pratt added, "Guns in good peoples' hands save lives and Americans use guns almost 50,000 times a week in self-defense. Guns Owners of America is glad that Michigan residents will be able to continue carrying guns."