As of today, Michigan’s new spate of gun laws take affect and gun owners can now be fined and even incarcerated should their guns find their way into the wrong hands because they were not properly stored according to the requirements of the law. The state passed the storage and other laws in an attempt to bolster the safety measures surrounding the purchase, storage, and ownership of firearms, yet is an obvious sign of government overreach and serves up obvious constitutional challenges.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel highlighted the significance of these changes, framing them as a milestone for enhancing safety within the state.
“It’s a very big deal for Michigan residents, and it’s going to make Michigan a much safer place for people to visit and for people to live,” Nessel was quoted as saying in a WNEM 5 news report.
The new legislation installed universal background checks, red flag provisions and mandates for secure firearm storage, particularly with relation to where minors are present.
The red flag law introduces a mechanism for temporarily removing firearms from individuals deemed by a judge to pose a significant risk to themselves or others, a measure aimed at preventing potential crises. The problem with such laws is they do not allow for due process under the law and virtually anyone could lodge a false complaint against someone and have a person’s guns removed. And what exactly is “temporary?”
Universal background checks will also be expanded to cover all gun purchases, even private ones. The WNEM article said the goal of the law was to align state requirements with federal standards that prohibit gun ownership for those convicted of felonies or misdemeanor domestic violence. However, federal law does not have universal background checks and people who are already barred from purchasing firearms are breaking the law so purchasing illegal guns will still not stop them from getting guns. It will only make handgun purchases and the reseller market more costly, a goal of anti-gunners to—if they can’t do it legislatively, to do it economically—make gun ownership for all gun owners more difficult.
Steve Dulan, a professor of firearms law at Cooley Law School, voiced concerns with WNEM over the laws’ practical implications, suggesting they might introduce more challenges than they resolve.
“Michigan is one of only a handful of states that has any firearm registration whatsoever…and this law makes things more complex, more difficult to comply with,” Dulan remarked, expressing the obvious concern that the regulations could unduly discourage lawful gun ownership and leave people more vulnerable both to unnecessary prosecutions, as well as if they go unarmed, more vulnerable to criminals.
For those seeking to comply with the new storage requirements, local law enforcement agencies are offering free gun locks and safety kits.
Read the full article here