Michigan: State Twenty Eight
In a bold push to make Michigan the 28th constitutional carry state, Republican lawmakers introduced a bill that will likely be very difficult to pass in this increasingly Democrat- leaning, purple state. Sponsored by state Reps. Angela Rigas (R-Caledonia), Bryan Posthumus (R-Greenville) and Jay DeBoyer (R-Clay Twp.), House Bills 4710, 4711 and 4715 would allow any person, not prohibited by law, to carry a concealed firearm without a permit.
Additionally, these bills would remove the “duty to inform” clause, “which requires gun owners to inform law enforcement if they’re carrying a firearm.”
This uphill battle comes on the heels of the state passing extensive gun-control laws, led by Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, that include “extreme risk protection orders” (“red flag” laws) and additional background checks for private purchases. This legislation was passed on the notion that it would reduce what many like to call “gun violence.”
But some lawmakers blame the violence plaguing many cities on the unwillingness of prosecutors to charge and convict criminals. The crazed maniac who killed three students at the University of Michigan in February had been previously arrested on felony gun charges. The prosecutor on the case allowed him to plead the felony charge down to a misdemeanor.
Some lawmakers blame the violence plaguing many cities on the unwillingness of prosecutors to charge and convict criminals.
This bill’s co-sponsor, Sen. Jim Runestad (R-White Lake), said that he believes “the root issue in that case was a lack of enforcement after it was found the person carrying the gun was dangerous.”
In an effort to impugn the recently passed gun-control measures, Posthumus brilliantly stated that “our state is set up in such a way that if you are legally able to obtain a gun here, you are allowed to own and operate that weapon,” so “why then should an additional regulation exist to create a subclass of ‘double’ approved gun owners?”
I have found no opposing arguments from the left side of the aisle. Democrat lawmakers likely refuse to make an argument because they know this bill is unlikely to be voted on or receive a committee hearing. Rigas stated that “we will remind this government that its job is to serve its people — all its people,” and “we won’t let freedoms die in secret and in silence. Even if all we can do is protest, we will do so at the top of our lungs.”
The best way to see your state pass bills you favor is to reach out to your state representatives, both in the House and the Senate.
As more and more states become Second Amendment-friendly by passing progun, pro-citizen laws, federal gun-control lawmakers look to circumvent the Second Amendment by attempting to bankrupt the gun industry. If they are unable to physically confiscate your firearms from your home, why not pass laws to sue gunmakers and dealers out of existence?
That is exactly what Sens. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-30), who led 78 members of Congress, including Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Reps. Dwight Evans (D-PA-03) and Jason Crow (D-CO-06), are trying to do.
These lawmakers have reintroduced the bicameral Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act, which in their words is “legislation to ensure that victims of gun violence have their day in court and that negligent gun companies and gun sellers are not shielded from liability when they disregard public safety.” It would essentially, again in their words, “repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), passed by Congress in 2005, which gives the gun industry a unique and unjustifiable legal liability shield that protects gun manufacturers from lawsuits.”
If they are unable to physically confiscate your firearms from your home, why not pass laws to sue gunmakers and dealers out of existence?
It would be understandable to sue a gunmaker if the firearm it produced was defective and led to injuries. But holding a company answerable for the act of a criminal is preposterous.
For example, if a drunk driver gets behind the wheel of his Subaru and injures an innocent person, Subaru is not the one that is held accountable; the drunk driver is. So, why is the gun industry being targeted in this manner?
I’m glad you asked.
There isn’t a car-control sector of Congress that wants desperately to remove that Subaru from your driveway (at least not yet). There is no need for laws to be passed to sue these automakers out of existence because of an Amendment for the right to keep and bear vehicles. The Supreme Court has, on numerous recent occasions, struck down unconstitutional laws pertaining to the Second Amendment, for which lawmakers have no legal work-around. Yet that never seems to stop anti-gun pols.
Fortunately, the way the current Congress is structured in the House of Representatives, with the majority pro-Second Amendment, this bill is likely to go nowhere. But that does not mean it will remain defeated forever.
Massive Gun Control in Massachusetts
An uproar in Massachusetts is mid-swing as House Democrats introduce a 140-page bill of new gun-control laws. Rep. Michael Day (D-Middlesex) and 33 other Democratic representatives have introduced HD 4420, An Act Modernizing Firearm Laws, that boasts a multitude of new restrictions on law-abiding gun owners.
This picturesque New England state is already considered very strict gun-law-wise. Some of these laws currently in place include bans on certain firearms, magazine limits, a duty to retreat and red flag laws, just to name a few.
Massachusetts is also ranked low on the number of firearm-involved violent incidents (at least when you take Boston out of the equation). So why do these lawmakers feel the need to heap additional restrictions on gun owners?
According to Day, the bill’s primary sponsor, the main component of this bill focuses on firearms and firearms parts that lack serial numbers or, as some would say, “ghost guns.” Day stated that this would “give our law enforcement folks another leg up to say ‘Hey, somebody’s out here compiling 50 barrels. What’s going on here?’”
Well, sir, the Founding Fathers wrote a document that says, “None of your business.” Of course, I am paraphrasing a bit.
Massachusetts is also ranked low on the number of firearm-involved violent incidents. So why do these lawmakers feel the need to heap additional restrictions on gun owners?
This bill was created in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Bruen case, which forced Massachusetts to grant carry permits without the “good cause” rule it once had in place. Following in the footsteps of states like New York and New Jersey, this bill would prohibit carrying in places such as:
- Schools, colleges and universities
- Government buildings
- Polling places
- Private property, including residential, commercial and industrial, without the express permission from the owner
Furthermore, this extensive bill includes new measures that only law-abiding gun owners would follow. Just some of these new laws would:
- Ban semi-automatic firearms owned by citizens before the previous ban went into effect
- Ban tax-stamped, automatic firearms that are legal through the National Firearms Act (NFA)
- Mandate “safe storage” laws
- Require the registration of all guns and feeding devices
- Require reporting of any modifications or new parts added to a firearm
- Require the serialization of all firearm parts
- Ban anyone under 21 from acquiring or carrying any semi-automatic rifle or shotgun
- Ban anyone under 15 from taking part in shooting sports and training
- Require new mandates, protocols and training requirements for retailers
Opposition to this bill came out in full force. Jim Wallace, the executive director of the Gun Owners Action League, easily identified that “there is nothing in this bill that goes after the criminal element.” He stated that there are “140 pages of some of the most anti-civil-rights legislation filed in this country,” and that “it actually represents a tantrum after the Supreme Court decision of Bruen that told states like Massachusetts your laws are unconstitutional.”
The bill is currently stalled due to a procedural disagreement after being referred to the Judiciary Committee. It likely won’t move forward until the fall session is underway. So, this will give you ample time to contact your representatives and voice your opinion on the bill.
Kansas City Coup
Current law in the state of Missouri is that state law preempts any local law pertaining to firearms. However, counties and municipalities may:
- Prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms, even by persons permitted to do so under state law, in any building or portion of a building owned, leased or controlled by the county or municipality
- Require a concealed carry permit for open carry
- Regulate the discharge of firearms
Kansas City’s mayor, Quinton Lucas (D), is backing a few proposals to change that. These proposals would ask voters to allow local big-city governments, such as Kansas City, to enact stricter gun laws than what the state currently has in place.
Three different versions of the proposed constitutional amendment were filed with the state’s Attorney General’s office by a group called Sensible Missouri. It states that “the use of guns in rural Missouri is different from the use of guns in urbanized communities. Therefore, we need the ability to regulate guns at the local level.”
State Sen. Mary Elizabeth Coleman stated that “liberal leadership” is what makes the “communities less safe,” and “the answer to fighting violent crime in areas where crime is most rampant is to support law enforcement and actually prosecute violent crime.”
The three versions drafted and filed with the state would:
- Give St. Louis, Kansas City, Jackson County and St. Louis County the authority to enact firearms regulations
- Give St. Louis, Kansas City, Jackson County, St. Louis County and certain other counties the authority to enact firearms regulations
- Give all counties the ability to enact their own firearms regulations
However, an opposing petition that would codify Missouri’s constitutional carry law into the state’s constitution was filed in response. Voters will then have the option to choose which way the laws should change during the 2024 election.
Republican lawmakers have voiced opposition to the first set of proposals. State Sen. Mary Elizabeth Coleman stated that “liberal leadership” is what makes the “communities less safe,” and “the answer to fighting violent crime in areas where crime is most rampant is to support law enforcement and actually prosecute violent crime.” And the ability for each county to create its own laws would significantly increase the risk of law-abiding citizens being prosecuted for simply crossing county lines.
The constitutional amendments face somewhat of an uphill battle though. Constitutional changes at the ballot box require “an expensive signature-gathering campaign” and then must be “verified by Ashcroft’s office before they go on the ballot.”