Following the final week of Michigan’s 2012 legislative session, two pro-gun bills were signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder on Tuesday and one was vetoed. The enacted legislation is a significant improvement to Michigan’s firearm laws, including a partial repeal of the outdated license-to-purchase, legalization of transportation of any cased and unloaded firearm, and purchase of long guns in non-contiguous states.
House Bill 5225, sponsored by state Representative Paul Opsommer (R-93), was the NRA’s priority legislation this session. It passed in the state House earlier this year by an overwhelming 74 to 36 vote (on page 1822) and last Wednesday the Senate approved an amended version of this bill by a 27 to 11 vote (vote is on page 2796), to which the House concurred. These Senate amendments to HB 5225 last week were necessary to ensure its enactment this session. This legislation was signed by Governor Snyder on Tuesday and took effect immediately. HB 5225 contains many positive improvements for Michigan gun owners and sportsmen, including:
- Repeal of the state license-to-purchase for handguns sold by a Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer (FFL) so that even purchasers without a Concealed Pistol License (CPL) will only be subject to the federal NICS check;
- Streamlining private sales to allow people to apply for a purchase license at any law enforcement agency in the state rather than just in the city or county of their residence;
- Repeal of the handgun safety test currently required to obtain a purchase license;
- Extension of the time that a purchase permit is valid from ten days to thirty days; and
- Repeal of the requirement that local law enforcement agencies maintain paper copies of purchase licenses.
Also signed into law by Governor Snyder was Senate Bill 984, introduced by state Senator Tom Casperson (R-38). SB 984 passed in the Senate earlier this session by a vote of 36 to 2 (vote is on page 1644) and passed in the House by a 109 to 1 vote( vote is on page 2747). This legislation would allow Michigan residents to purchase long guns from any other state as long as they comply with current federal firearms laws. SB 984 would also allow non-residents for non-contiguous states to purchase rifles and shotguns in Michigan.
Since being signed into law on Tuesday and immediately taking effect, the interstate sales of rifles and shotguns can occur between FFLs and residents of any state, as long as “the sale, delivery, and receipt fully comply with the legal conditions of sale in both such States.” Thus, SB 984 as enacted helps to streamline the purchasing process by eliminating the antiquated Michigan ban on the interstate sale of firearms beyond contiguous states.
Senate Bill 59 was vetoed by Governor Snyder. Sponsored by Senator Mike Green (R-31), this legislation passed in the Senate last month by a vote of 27 to 11 (vote is on page 2307) and passed in the House last week by a 68 to 41 vote (vote is on page 2766). This legislation would have streamlined the process for a concealed weapons license, while creating expanded carry zones in previously prohibited places for those who are willing to undergo enhanced training. Along with many other improvements, SB 59 would have also eliminated concealed weapons licensing boards and instead assign the role of licensing authority to county sheriffs. Further requirements to streamline and improve the license process included establishment of a system for refunds of fees, requirement of county sheriffs who maintain fingerprinting capability to provide reasonable access to fingerprinting services and a requirement to either issue or deny the license within a 45-day period from the date of application.
Thank you to NRA members who contacted their state legislators in support of these pro-gun reforms.