Yesterday, the Michigan House Judiciary Committee held a hearing to review an important and long-overdue bill that would eliminate the state handgun “permit-to-purchase” and registration requirements. This committee heard House Bill 5225 and considered amendment language that will be used as a substitute for HB 5225. The committee will again consider HB 5225 next week with a possible vote on Thursday, May 24.
HB 5225, introduced by state Representative Paul Opsommer (R-93), would abolish the bureaucratic “permit-to-purchase” handguns which became obsolete when the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) took effect in 1998. Under the current state system, gun buyers must apply with their local law enforcement agency and pass a written test before being authorized to buy a handgun. This “permit” is valid for only one gun and it expires after ten days. Since 1998, federal law has required a national criminal records check for the purchase of any firearm from any gun dealer in every state. Some of the key points of the proposed amendment to HB 5225 are:
- Repeal the state requirement for someone to ask for police permission to purchase a firearm by traveling to a local police station and obtaining a permit to purchase.
- Repeal the requirement to register a completely legally purchased and owned firearm by a law-abiding citizen to be registered with the government through the police.
- Adopt the use of the federally-funded National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
- Default to the federal standard of prohibited persons and each purchase would still require a background check.
- Cut Michigan’s costs by using the federally-administered instant background check system and eliminate wasted man-hours of tracking lawful gun owners in Michigan.
The NRA has been working diligently to repeal this antiquated, costly and unnecessary obstacle for gun owners and has coordinated with several state Representatives to produce new language for HB 5225. Two companion bills are also moving through the House: House Bill 5498, sponsored by state Representative Richard LeBlanc (D-18), and House Bill 5499, sponsored by state Representative Ray Franz (R-101).
|Thank you to our members for contacting this committee prior to yesterday’s hearing. Please continue to contact members of the House Judiciary Committee and respectfully urge them to support HB 5225. The committee member contact information can be found here.|