After two weeks of consideration, the Michigan House Judiciary Committee today passed House Bill 5225 as amended; important and long-overdue legislation that would eliminate the state handgun “permit-to-purchase” and registration requirements. This committee also approved House Bill 5498, sponsored by state Representative Richard LeBlanc (D-18), and House Bill 5499, sponsored by state Representative Ray Franz (R-101). All three bills were supported by the Republican members of this House committee and not a single Democrat voted to support any of them. All three bills now go to the full House for a vote.
HB 5225, sponsored by state Representative Paul Opsommer (R-93) as amended 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 HB 5225 as amended 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 the new language for HB 5225. Its two companion bills also passed in this committee.
These three bills passed the committee today despite the last-minute change in position of the Michigan State Police. Although the MSP had stated their neutrality since HB 5225’s introduction, they changed their position at the last minute today and tried to sabotage their passage. At this time, the MSP is officially opposed the HB 5225 and will be working against our attempts to remove these obsolete state laws.
This is not the first time the MSP has been on the wrong side of an important pro-gun bill. For example, during the concealed carry debate, the MSP actively opposed that bill claiming that law-abiding citizens were not responsible enough to carry firearms for self-defense and that violent crime would skyrocket. They have been proven wrong on concealed carry and they are wrong to oppose a rights restoration bill such as HB 5225.
|Thank you to our members for contacting the House committee members prior to today's hearing. All NRA members across Michigan now need to contact your state Representative TODAY and respectfully urge him or her to support HB 5225. To find your state Representative’s contact information, please click here.|