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Michigan: Governor Snyder Signs Firearms Records Confidentiality Package and Youth Firearm Education Bill

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Today, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed into law an NRA-backed package of bills aimed at protecting gun owners’ privacy by making firearms records confidential.  The Firearms Records Confidentiality Package, comprised of Senate Bills 49, 834 and 881 and House Bills 4155, 5325 and 5328, passed in the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support.  Under the new laws, firearms records would not be subject to requests under the Freedom of Information Act and would only be available to law enforcement officials for proper investigatory purposes.

"Gun owners’ information should be protected from unscrupulous media organizations that print personal information in an effort to ostracize law-abiding individuals who are simply exercising a constitutional right," said Chris W. Cox, Executive Director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action.

Collectively, the Firearms Records Confidentiality Package requires that information submitted to the government for purposes of firearms licensing, registration and concealed carry permitting be confidential and not subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

"On behalf of the NRA's five million members, I would like to thank Governor Snyder and the bills' sponsors, Senators Tom Casperson, Geoff Hansen and Phil Pavlov, and Representatives Aric Nesbitt, Kevin Cotter and Hugh Crawford for ensuring that law-abiding gun owners are protected from unwarranted scrutiny and discrimination merely for exercising their fundamental, constitutional right to Keep and Bear Arms," concluded Cox.

Governor Snyder also signed House Bill 5085 into law today.  HB 5085, sponsored by state Representative Phil Potvin (R-102), corrects an unduly burdensome restraint on youth firearm education by reasonably expanding the class of individuals who are allowed to supervise and instruct Michigan youth on the safe use of pistols.  Under current Michigan law, an individual who is under the age of 18 is prohibited from possessing a pistol “for the purposes of target practice or instruction in the safe use,” unless the “person’s parent or guardian is physically present and supervising the person.”  As a result, responsible family members, close friends, range instructors and youth organizations (e.g. Boy Scouts of America) are all effectively precluded from supervising and instructing on the safe use of a pistol in a controlled environment.  HB 5085 would allow some of the aforementioned classes of individuals to provide pistol training and safety instruction to Michigan’s youth, while also ensuring that supervision is conducted by a responsible adult. 

HB 5085 achieves this goal by amending the current law to provide that an individual who is 21 years or older, has successfully completed a state certified pistol training course and has received parental authorization, may supervise and provide pistol instruction to a minor at a target range.

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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.