© 2024 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Bills would ban gun possession for misdemeanor violent crimes

Guns that were purchased by undercover police officers are displayed during a news conference in New York, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010.
Seth Wenig
Guns that were purchased by undercover police officers are displayed during a news conference in New York, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010. District attorney Cyrus Vance announced the indictment of three people on illegal gun sales after a long-term investigation into firearms trafficking by the defendants. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

People convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence charges would be automatically barred from possessing firearms for an eight-year-period under bills that have cleared the state House.

Many felony convictions already include a ban on gun possession for a period of time. But Representative Amos O’Neal (D-Saginaw) said people convicted of lesser crimes like misdemeanor assault or stalking often still pose a threat after they’ve been released from jail or prison.

“With this legislation before us, we stand with survivors to reduce the risk of having deadly weapons in the hands of violent and deadly people,” he said during a floor speech.

“…These bills finally prohibit an individual convicted – and I’ll emphasize convicted – of a domestic violence misdemeanor from possessing a firearm and ammunition with a gun,” he said.

The eight years would not begin until after release from incarceration and all fines are paid.

Two Republicans crossed over to vote with Democrats for the bills.

Representative Josh Schriver (R-Oxford) was a no vote. He said people convicted of crimes like misdemeanor assault or stalking should not treated like felons.

“They’re petty misdemeanors and shouldn’t cause individuals to become sitting ducks for violent criminals by losing their right to defend themselves for more than eight years,” he said. “If you care about mercy, if you care about justice, if you care about your sacred oath to the Constitution, then to honor it to the best of your ability, so help you God, you’ll vote no on this package.”

One of the bills was finalized with the House vote and will go to Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat who generally supports gun control measures.

The rest of the bills will go the Michigan Senate.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
Journalism at this station is made possible by donors who value local reporting. Donate today to keep stories like this one coming. It is thanks to your generosity that we can keep this content free and accessible for everyone. Thanks!