- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 6, 2015

A proposed bill in Michigan set to be introduced this month would exempt military personnel from the state’s pistol-free zone restrictions when in uniform.

State Rep. Tom Barrett described the bill, which is still in draft form, during a tour Wednesday of the Michigan National Guard Army Aviation Support Facility near Grand Ledge with State House Speaker Kevin Cotter, the Lansing State Journal reported

State law prohibits the carrying of a pistols in certain locations such as day care centers and schools, sports stadiums, churches, bars and casinos. 

But following shootings at military recruiting facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that left five service members dead, Mr. Barrett said military personnel run a greater risk of becoming targets for violence. 

His bill aims to provide military personnel, who stand out from a crowd when in uniform, with an extra layer of security in public places. 

“They wouldn’t have to disarm to go drop their kid off at school or at daycare while they’re in uniform,” said Mr. Barrett, a 13-year veteran of the Army National Guard, the Journal reported. “When we’re out of uniform and less likely to be targeted we would have to follow the exact same rules and regulations as every other person in Michigan.”

The new proposal in Michigan comes less than a week after lawmakers in Florida moved to expedite concealed weapons permits for active-duty military personnel and veterans.

The Chattanooga shootings sparked widespread concern for military members becoming extremist targets, prompting armed civilians to stand guard at recruiting stations. 

The Pentagon discouraged such actions, saying it could “adversely impact our mission, and potentially create unintended security risks.”

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