As you know, I grew up in the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan, and it’s an absolutely gorgeous place. I spent most of my summers backpacking, hunting, canoeing, and shooting with my friends from Boy Scouts. One of the best parts of summer was heading up to Camp Greilick for a week of scout camp. During the day at scout camp, we spent a lot of our time working on different merit badges, and in the late afternoon and evening many parts of the camp would open up for off hours use. The most popular places were the lake for swimming, and the shooting range. The shooting range was always packed, because shooting is fun.
One thing was absent from the shooting range though: handguns. We never shot handguns (probably because the camp couldn’t afford them) but also because it would have been illegal under Michigan law for someone other than a parent or legal guardian to teach the scouts to shoot a handgun (even a .22lr target pistol).
Rep. Phil Potvin (a former scout leader from my troop, and a man who I hold in high regard) introduced House Bill 5085 which will allow for qualified instructors to teach handgun shooting to minors in the state.
(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 is authorized by the person’s parent or guardian, and who has successfully completed a pistol safety training course or class that meets the requirements of section 5j(1)(a), (b), or (d), and received a certificate of completion.
If you read the entire bill, remember the regular text is the law as it currently is,
striken text is what is being removed, and bold text is what will be added by the bill.
It looks like this bill just needs to have the concurrence text passed by the Senate, and it will be off to Gov. Snyder for his signature.
Keep in mind that this is a lot more than just a bill that will let kids have fun at camp. It’s a bill that will allow kids to be taught about handgun safety in a positive environment, where they can learn to shoot, be safe, and have fun.