Casperson protects your wood-burning stoves

For Immediate Release
April 28, 2014

Contact: Marty Fittante
517-373-7840

LANSING, Mich—Sen. Tom Casperson is working to make sure that Michigan residents can keep warm by using wood-burning stoves without more government interference in light of proposed regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Senate Bill 910 aims to prohibit the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality from regulating wood-burning stoves through rules and from enforcing any EPA regulation limiting emissions from wood-burning appliances after May 1.

“These proposed regulations are a recent example of overreach by bureaucrats, as we too often see, especially from the EPA,” said Casperson, R-Escanaba. “Using wood as a heating source has been a way of life for centuries in the U.P. and across rural Michigan. The burdensome regulations proposed by the EPA are an overreach of government and need to be stopped to protect our way of life.”

Casperson has also introduced resolutions calling on the EPA to reject the proposed regulations on wood stoves. Congressman Dan Benishek, whose district includes the Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan, has announced that he will be a co-sponsor of House Resolution 4407, recently introduced in Washington, that also aims to curtail the EPA’s attempt to further regulate wood-burning heat sources.

“Given the challenges this winter presented with extreme conditions that continue in some parts of the U.P., propane shortages, and price increases that left many families hurting, this is no time for the EPA to advance regulations to restrict one of the most dependable and affordable options for providing a basic need for so many—heat for their homes and small businesses,” said Casperson. 

The new standards set forth by the EPA would impact new pellet, corn burner and outdoor wood boilers. According to the National Federation of Independent Business, manufacturers of wood stoves and heating appliances have estimated that the proposed new emission requirements could virtually end the burning of wood for heat in the United States and more than double the cost of new wood-burning appliances.

SB910 was referred to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources Environment and Great Lakes.

 

Senate approves bills to protect gun owners’ privacy

LANSING—The Michigan Senate on Thursday passed legislation to protect gun owners’ privacy by making firearms records confidential.

Under Senate Bills 49, 834 and 881, firearms records would not be subject to requests under the Freedom of Information Act and would be available only to law enforcement officials, under certain conditions.

“I introduced Senate Bill 49 last year as there was a real need for protection for the privacy of gun owners,” said Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba. “This bill ensures that no personal information can be released in Michigan. Disclosing such information is not only a threat to public safety and an invasion of privacy, but it serves no legitimate public service.”

The legislation is a response to the actions of a New York newspaper that last year published the names and personal addresses of gun permit holders in two counties north of New York City.

“Gun ownership information is private and must stay that way,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, sponsor of SB 834. “Newspapers elsewhere have published the names of private gun owners. These bills will prevent that from happening here in Michigan.”

Sen. Goeff Hansen, sponsor of SB 881, said the bills are about safeguarding the rights of Michigan residents.  

“The Second Amendment is integral to our freedom and must be protected,” said Hansen, R-Hart. “This legislation strengthens Michigan law to ensure that all gun owners’ personal information is not jeopardized by those looking to infringe on our basic rights.”

The legislation would ensure that firearms records could only be accessed or disclosed by a peace officer or other authorized individual for the following reasons:

  • The individual whose firearm records are the subject of disclosure has committed an offense with the pistol that violates a state law, a law of another state or a U.S. law;
  • The individual poses a threat to himself or herself or other individuals;
  • The individual’s firearm was used during the commission of an offense that violates a state law, a law of another state or a U.S. law; or
  • To ensure the safety of a peace officer.

A violation of the law would result in a civil infraction and possibly a $500 civil fine.

Dakota Moore, a state liaison with the National Rifle Association, thanked the sponsors of the bills.

“The NRA and its membership applaud the efforts of Senators Casperson, Hansen and Pavlov to ensure that law-abiding gun owners are protected from unwarranted scrutiny and discrimination merely for exercising their fundamental and constitutional right to keep and bear arms,” Moore said.

SBs 49, 834 and 881 have been sent to the Michigan House for further consideration.

Marquette student visits Capitol

For Immediate Release          
April 23, 2014   
                                                           
Contact: Marty Fittante
517-373-7840                                                                         

LANSING, Mich.—Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, welcomed Macy Niemisto, runner-up in the “In God We Trust” art contest, to Lansing Tuesday. Macy, from Marquette High School, received her award from Casperson on the Michigan Capitol steps before session.

Editor’s note: For a print-quality version of this and other Casperson photos, click the image or visit www.SenatorTomCasperson.com and click the Photowire link.