Domestic violence victims to carry concealed in gun-free zones? - WNEM TV 5

Domestic violence victims to carry concealed in gun-free zones?

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SAGINAW COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Saginaw Township state Rep. Tim Kelly has introduced a bill that would allow victims of domestic violence and stalking to carry a concealed pistol into gun-free zones, such as schools and churches.

Under the bill, the person would need a concealed pistol license and a protection order in place. Kelly says perpetrators of domestic violence don't respect gun free places, so victims should be able to protect themselves while there.

"These are called criminal empowerment zones, you don't see when a nut wants to take his own life and several others, you don't see him run to the police station and you don't see him go to an Army recruiting house, they go to where they know where there is not going to be guns," said Kelly.

But not everyone agrees that this new bill is needed.

"Why are we putting it upon the victim to further protect themselves? There are lots of good tools on the books on how to hold abusers accountable and prevent future abuse that we don't even follow now, " said Valerie Hoffman, of Underground Railroad.

She believes the key to stopping domestic violence is to hold perpetrators more accountable.

"We make them unable to access their victims because generally we have had an opportunity as a community to change that behavior," said Hoffman.

The bill is now expected to go the House Judiciary Committee for review.

Copyright 2014 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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