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Debate continues over gun-free zone bill headed to Michigan Senate floor

Debate continues over gun-free zone bill headed to Michigan Senate floor.{ }

A vote could come as early as Wednesday in the Michigan Senate on bills that would allow people to carry concealed weapons in gun-free zones like stadiums and schools.

Newschannel 3's Nicky Zizaza reported in Kalamazoo with reaction from parents to the legislation approved in committee on Tuesday.

A Michigan Senate committee passed the legislation sending it on to the full senate for consideration.

While it's not official yet, the plan is raising concerns questions and concerns from parents and school officials.

The three-bill package about guns is drawing mixed reaction.

Emily Greenman Wright, a parent, said, “No guns at schools whatsoever there is no reason for guns to present. I am trusting public safety is going to keep our children safe.”

A Republican-led Senate committee passing legislation on Tuesday allowing people with extra training to conceal and carry in gun-free zones.

But some parents like Joe West said concealed carry in gun-free zones is a step in the right direction.

He said, “Pretty much anybody, if you are a school employee I would be okay with that.”

The package of bills introduced by Republican Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof argues gun-free zones have become targets for mass shooters.

Meekhof said, “98 percent of these mass shootings are done on pistol free zones so people go there on purpose to perpetrate a crime because they know there is not going to be resistance and we need to change that."

Democrats disagree.

Sen. Jim Ananich, (D) Flint, said, "I don't know what's worse the stupidity of the bills or the timing. Right now you have a 5-year-old who is literally not given a funeral yet or laid to rest and we are talking about finding ways to make it more dangerous for our kids."

Officials with the Michigan Association of School Boards are in opposition of the bill heading to the senate floor on Wednesday said the plan is too far reaching.

Testimony from MASB officials said, "When we look at these bills they take away that local elected body ability to even talk to their community and decide whether they think concealed carry should happen in their school district or not happen."

The bill is expected to be amended on the senate floor as early as Wednesday to allow schools to prohibit employees from carrying concealed weapons in schools.

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