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HomeGeneralMichigan Changes Its Gun Laws a Year After MSU Mass Shooting

Michigan Changes Its Gun Laws a Year After MSU Mass Shooting

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Source: The Mining Gazette

As the state marks the one year anniversary of a shooting that claimed three lives at Michigan State University, it also marks something many Michiganders have long anticipated: a change in firearm policy.

In the weeks following the MSU mass shooting, Democrats – which took control of both the legislature and governorship for the first time in four decades, beginning January 2023 – quickly changed the state’s gun laws. Those changes go into effect on Wednesday, Febuary 13, per legislative rules.

Here’s what that means for firearm owners in Michigan:

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Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) now in action

Michigan will become the 21st state to enact what is more commonly known as ‘red flag’ laws. Under this change, Michiganders will be able to seek temporary removal of firearms from at-risk individuals by obtaining an extreme risk protection order, the formal name for a red flag complaint.

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“The complaint would have to show whether the person at issue, called the respondent, can reasonably be expected within the near future to intentionally or unintentionally seriously physically injure himself, herself or another individual by possessing a firearm,” per the bill’s final language.

Safe Storage of Firearms is now compulsory

Michiganders will also be required to safely store firearms when minors are present. A person could be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by not more than 93 days in jail and a fine of no more than $500 if a minor obtains the firearm due to improper storage.

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POLL — Do You Support Stricter Gun Control Laws and Assault Weapon Bans?

To encourage the purchase of gun safety devices, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also signed off on two bills that amend Michigan’s sales and use tax to exempt trigger and barrel locks, safes, lock boxes, and other items designated to enhance home firearm safety.

Gun ban for domestic violence convictions

Those convicted of a misdemeanor involving domestic violence would include a host of charges, including assault and battery, vulnerable adult abuse, stalking, fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, and willful/malicious destruction of the personal property of another person, and this could see a potential 8-year gun ban.

The law, which Whitmer signed on November 20, 2023, would bar a person from having, using, selling, or transporting a gun – as well as ammunition – until certain stipulations are met.

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The profile of the crime victim would be that they:

  • Are the convicted person’s spouse or former spouse
  • Have or had a dating relationship with the convicted person
  • Have or had a child in common with the convicted person
  • Are a resident or former resident of the convicted person’s household
  • Are the victim’s parent or guardian.

Domestic violence would be defined more thoroughly, so only those convicted of the crime would be impacted by the state’s gun ban. The bill package additionally expands the list of crimes that already keep a person from possessing a firearm for three to five years following the completion of their sentence

Universal background checks to take place for all gun sales

A background check was previously required only when purchasing a handgun in Michigan. Now, background check provisions will now apply to the purchasing of all firearms within the state.

“This will not apply to guns bought prior to the bill taking effect, and additional legislation outlines sentencing guidelines and fines that occur should this law be violated.”

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