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Grand Rapids, Mich. (WZZM) The Michigan Legislature haspasseda bill allowing people who undergo extra training to carry concealed weapons in places such as schools and churches where they previously were off-limits.

The Republican-controlled House approved the bill Friday after it cleared the Senate on Thursday. It now goes to Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature.

Friday afternoon, after the deadly shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, the house communications office issued a statement warning against politicizing the issue. Read the complete statement below:

"Regarding the school shooting in Connecticut, our first concern is thinking about the families and the tragedy they have suffered at the hands of a criminal bent on spreading evil.

What happened in Connecticut, however, is not because of nor related in any way to actions taken by the Michigan House yesterday in approv...ing Senate Bill 59.

In response to outreach from media and Michigan citizens, let me provide some background on the bill and why we have caucus members who supported it:

Under the proposed law, Michigan will have the most highly trained concealed carry licensees in the nation. In addition, statistics show that in a mass shooting incident, the average death toll is higher when civilians have to wait for police to arrive. In situations where a citizen with a concealed pistol is involved as a potential victim, the number of deaths is lower on average. Therefore, having well-trained individuals with the freedom to carry a concealed pistol may be considered a public safety asset that could act as a deterrent against such shootings or, if an evil criminal does strike, may prove to serve as protection for innocent bystanders.

It is the belief of many representatives in our caucus that it is criminals who have no intention of following any law that are the perpetrators of such heinous crimes as school shootings. Strict gun-control laws do not stop criminals from committing evil acts, they merely infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens who might be able to take action against evil if given the chance.

Regardless of where anyone stands on the gun-rights debate, however, we will encourage everyone to try to refrain from politicizing the tragedy in Connecticut. The House Republican Caucus does not wish to limit debate on our Facebook page. However, any posts considered to be against our standards of decorum or violating rules regarding political statements may be removed."

~ Ari B. Adler
Press Secretary and Interim Communications Director
House Republican Caucus

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