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Michigan: Senate Judiciary Committee to Vote on Repeal of Permit to Purchase and Registration this Wednesday

Monday, August 13, 2012

This Wednesday, August 15, the Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on legislation to repeal Michigan’s “permit-to-purchase” and registration requirements for handguns.  House Bill 5225, which seeks to replace the state handgun “permit-to-purchase” requirement with the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), already passed in the state House of Representatives by an overwhelming 74 to 36 vote (found on page 14 of the House Journal) on June 13.  Additionally, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear the two companion bills to HB 5225,  House Bill 5498 and House Bill 5499, both of which also passed in the state House and were sent to the Senate last month. 

HB 5225, sponsored by state Representative Paul Opsommer (R-93), would repeal the outdated and duplicative “permit-to-purchase” requirement.  Under the current state process, 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.  This process became obsolete when the NICS took effect in 1998.  Since that time, federal law has required a national criminal records check for the purchase of any firearm, from any gun dealer, in every state. The NRA has been working diligently to repeal the antiquated, costly and unnecessary “permit-to-purchase” obstacle for gun owners, and has coordinated with several state Representatives to produce new language for HB 5225. 

HB 5225 as amended would, if enacted:

  • Repeal the state requirement to seek police permission to purchase a firearm by traveling to a local police station and obtaining a permit to purchase.
  • Repeal the requirement for a law-abiding citizen to register a legally purchased and owned firearm with the government through the police.
  • Adopt the use of the federally-funded National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
  • Cut Michigan’s costs by using the federally-administered National Instant Background Check System and eliminate wasted man-hours of tracking lawful gun owners in Michigan.
  • Default to the federal standard of prohibited persons and require a background check for each purchase.

The two companion firearm reform bills are also before the Senate Judiciary Committee this Wednesday:  HB 5498, sponsored by state Representative Richard LeBlanc (D-18), provides for legal penalties relating to firearms and other weapons.  HB 5499, sponsored by state Representative Ray Franz (R-101), clarifies the regulations regarding the sale of firearms to “prohibited persons” and makes them consistent with federal standards.

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have an opportunity this Wednesday to help make history and bring Michigan’s firearms laws up-to-date with the rest of the country.  Please contact members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and respectfully urge them to support House Bills 5225, 5498, and 5499.

Senate Judiciary Committee:

Senator Rick Jones (R-24), Chairman

(517) 373-3447

Senator Tonya Schuitmaker (R-20), Vice Chairman

(517) 373-0793

Email by clicking here.


Senator Steve Bieda (D-9), Minority Committee Chairman

(517) 373-8360

Email by clicking here.


Senator Tory Rocca (R-10)

(517) 373-7315

Email by clicking here.




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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.