Gun Rights Battle Heads To Bars, Churches, Doctors’ Offices And Day Care

After ignoring the issue of gun control for his entire presidency to date, aides to President Barack Obama said Wednesday he’d take up the issue within the next few weeks. Even former Vice President Dick Cheney has said he’d be okay with banning high-capacity clips in the wake of the mass shooting that nearly killed Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and left six others dead.

But there’s a whole other lot of Second Amendment supporters who, instead of discussing middle-of-the-road measures to curb gun violence, are advocating to rescind or roll back even current restrictions.

In state legislatures around the country, conservatives lawmakers are introducing some of the most enthusiastic right-to-bear-arms bills to date. Here’s TPM’s round up.Florida

Physicians often ask patients about risky behaviors, like drinking, smoking and even if they dutifully wear a seat belt. But asking about gun ownership? That topic should be off-limits, says freshman state Rep. Jason Brodeur (R) who wants to make it a felony for physicians to ask patients or their families if they own or store guns at home.

Brodeur says he’s worried that doctors might report gun ownership information to a patient’s insurance company. “What we don’t want to do is have law-abiding firearm owners worried that the information is going to be recorded and then sent to their insurance company,” Brodeur said, as reported by the News-Press. “If the overreaching federal government actually takes over health care, they’re worried that Washington, D.C., is going to know whether or not they own a gun and so this is really just a privacy protection.”

Doctors who fail to obey the proposed law could face up to $5 million in fines — or prison time.

Michigan

State Sen. Mike Green (R-Mayville) doesn’t believe there should be anywhere in Michigan where you can’t carry your gun. On Tuesday, he introduced legislation to repeal the state’s no-carry zones — places where concealed weapons are banned. Under the new proposal, which has been sent to the state Senate’s judiciary committee, it would be legal to carry concealed weapons into day care centers, stadiums, schools, churches, bars and hospitals.

Green told The Detroit News he introduced the bill to prove “there are no places that should be gun-free.”

According to his website, Green was one of the authors of Michigan’s 2000 “shall issue” concealed pistol license law, which drastically changed the state’s gun regulation. State and local authorities in states with “shall issue” laws must issue gun licenses to people as long as they meet specific criteria set by the state. This differs from “may-issue” states, where individuals need to show a compelling need to carry a concealed weapon and the ultimate decision is left up to the granting authority.

Nebraska

Despite the fact that 43 states and the District of Columbia prohibit people from bringing guns to schools, Nebraska State Sen. Mark Christensen thinks employees at K-12 schools should be allowed to carry guns for protection. He’s introduced legislation that would give school boards the option to allow employees to do just that.

The bill was introduced two weeks after a 17-year-old shot and killed an assistant principal then killed himself at an Omaha high school.

Minnesota

A bill to repeal the Minnesota’s gun permit requirement is inching closer to approval. If the bill — which was sponsored by state Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) — passes, police would no longer conduct background checks on people who apply for gun permits.

Instead, they would rely on a national database, called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, to flag people who shouldn’t receive a permit. But police who testified against the bill argued the bill would put guns in the hands of “mentally unstable criminals,” reported Minnesota Public Radio.

Dennis Flaherty, the executive director of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, said the national database is incomplete and that many states have not provided the needed information on violent offenders and mental health treatment.

Drazkowski called the standing law a “redundant, duplicative statute in place that really costs a lot of money for local units of government.”

If the state Legislature passes the bill, it will be sent to Gov. Mark Dayton (D) for consideration.

Wyoming

If a bill sponsored by State Sen. Kit Jennings (R-Casper) passes, Wyoming residents would be able to carry concealed guns without state permits. While the bill received preliminary approval, it faces two more votes in the Senate before being debated in the House. If the bill does become law, Wyoming would join the ranks of Alaska, Arizona and Vermont — the only other states that don’t require citizens to have permits to carry concealed weapons.

Indiana

Not only must Indiana employers let their employees keep guns in their cars in the parking lot, they’re not allowed to ask any questions about them.

Last year, Indiana lawmakers passed a bill allowing workers to keep guns in their cars while parked on company property. The bill was opposed by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, who argued that employers’ personal property rights allowed them to ban firearms on their own property. In response to the law, some employers designated special parking areas for gun-toting employees and requested information on the guns.

But now State Sen. Johnny Nugent (R-Lawrenceburg) has filed legislation barring employers from asking their workers about any firearms that might be in their parking lots. “I’ve been a strong supporter of individual property rights,” Nugent told the Herald Bulletin. “I understand how employers might feel the way they do. But there are things that trump those property rights, and one of them is the defense of my life.”

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