Yesterday, the Senate Civil Rights, Judiciary and Public Safety Committee voted to pass three gun control bill packages. These bills criminalize private transfers, require firearms be made unavailable for self-defense, and allow Second Amendment rights to be suspended without due process. They now go to the full Senate, where they may be brought up on the floor as early as next week. Please contact your state senator and ask them to OPPOSE Senate Bills 76 through 86.
Senate Bills 76, 77, and 78 further criminalize private transfers of firearms by expanding Michigan’s handgun permit-to-purchase system to all firearms. This adds rifle and shotgun transfers to the state registry. It also removes the pistol permit-to-purchase exemption for transfers conducted by licensed firearm dealers, who conduct instant federal background checks, meaning prospective handgun purchasers must apply for, and receive, a permit prior to being able to go to a gun store to take possession of a handgun.
Senate Bills 79, 80, 81, and 82 impose a mandatory storage scheme for firearm owners, not taking into account an individual’s particular situation. Those not storing firearms in compliance face prison time of up to 15 years and fines of up to $7,500, for unauthorized access by minors. In District of Columbia v. Heller, the U.S. Supreme Court held that storage provisions that prevent a law-abiding American from having ready access to a firearm for self-defense are unconstitutional.
Senate Bills 83, 84, 85, and 86 allow the seizure of an individual’s firearms on baseless accusations, without a hearing or other opportunity for the evidence to be heard in court. They permit the government to seize firearms based on weak and nebulous standards of evidence.
A person subject to a suspension of a Constitutional right should be entitled to high evidentiary standards, an opportunity to be heard, and the right to face his or her accusers. Civil liberties advocates from across the political spectrum have expressed concerns about these “red flag” bills and how the procedure might lead to abuses because of insufficient due process protections in the bills.
Again, please contact your state senator and ask them to OPPOSE Senate Bills 76 through 86.