Today, November 24, Governor Rick Snyder (R) signed Senate Bills 225 and 226. Introduced by state Senator Mike Shirkey (R-16), these important bills provide long overdue and necessary protections for law-abiding individuals who receive pistols through inheritance. Highlighting the unintentional absurdities that are often created by firearm licensing and registration schemes, SB 225 and SB 226 accomplish the following two major reforms:
- Under current law, a previously unregistered pistol passing through the inheritance process would be considered contraband. As such, it would be subject to potential confiscation and destruction in Michigan. Such a seizure is especially abhorrent under circumstances in which a pistol is a family heirloom or holds sentimental significance. Once enacted, the provisions of SB 225 would recognize that firearms can have monetary and sentimental value and should be protected from government confiscation, if otherwise lawfully bequeathed or passed through intestate succession.
- Current law requires the personal representative of an estate to obtain a pistol license and register each pistol that he or she takes possession of for the sole purpose of testamentary or intestate disposition. This places an illogical burden on the administrator or executor of an estate—often an attorney—especially considering that they never have legal ownership of the pistol and are already prohibited by law from utilizing its functionality. Once enacted, SB 225 would allow the personal representative of an estate to dispose of a pistol in accordance with Michigan law without having to needlessly submit his or her name to a government firearm database. Furthermore, the already tedious and laborious inheritance process will be more streamlined, financially and emotionally benefiting all involved.
Senate Bills 225 and 226 will take effect in 90 days. Using the contact information below, please contact state Senator Mike Shirkey and thank him for shepherding these important measures through the legislative process.
Senator Mike Shirkey