Government Affairs and Advocacy Issues
WCMS sent the following letter following discussion and approval at the January 2018 WCMS Executive Council meeting.
Governor Rick Snyder
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, MI 48909
Dear Governor Snyder:
On behalf of the Washtenaw County Medical Society (WCMS), we write to express our opposition to Senate Bill 584, Senate Bill 585, and Senate Bill 586, the permitless concealed carry legislation. In order to ensure the safety of our communities and the patients that we as physicians treat, we urge you to reject these bills.
As a medical society comprised of physicians of various specialties, we are keenly attuned to the dangers of legislation like this and the unintended consequences it will have for patients. Washtenaw County includes major medical centers and emergency departments, including the University of Michigan and St. Joseph Mercy, which treat patients from all across our state. We are the front-line of defense for our communities’ medical needs and we believe these bills will compromise public safety and increase the number of medical visits and deaths in Michigan.
WCMS believes that we should be united in curbing gun violence and accidental deaths due to guns. Despite the moratorium on using federal funds to study gun violence, we as physicians treating gun victims are the experts in this arena. The most recent data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that Michigan reported 1,164 firearm deaths in 2015, which is higher than the national average. We cannot risk increasing Michigan’s fatalities by gun violence. We believe that enacting the proposed legislation will, not only inhibit the aid and support Michigan’s health care system needs, but more importantly, what patients across our great state deserve.
Once again, we strongly urge Michigan’s elected officials to reject this permitless concealed carry legislation. We remain committed to serving our communities in the best ways that we were medically trained, and board certified to do by refusing to weaken our gun laws. WCMS is prepared to work together with you on behalf of our patients and your constituents to develop bipartisan solutions that work for all Michiganders in pursuit of our mutual goal to optimize patient care and community safety.
Joseph O. Nnodim, MD, PhD, FACP, AGSF Gabrielle Szlenkier
WCMS President Executive Director