This Wednesday, July 18, the Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a special hearing on legislation to repeal Michigan’s “permit-to-purchase” and registration requirements for handguns. House Bill 5225, which seeks to replace the state handgun “permit-to-purchase” requirement with the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, has already passed in the state House of Representatives by an overwhelming 74 to 36 vote on June 13. Additionally, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear the two companion bills to HB 5225, House Bill 5498 and House Bill 5499, both of which also passed the state House and were sent to the Senate last month.
HB 5225, sponsored by state Representative Paul Opsommer (R-93), would repeal the outdated and ineffective “permit-to-purchase” requirement. Under the current state process, gun buyers must apply with their local law enforcement agency and pass a written test before being authorized to buy a handgun. This “permit” is valid for only one gun and it expires after ten days. This process became obsolete when the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) took effect in 1998. Since that time, federal law has required a national criminal records check for the purchase of any firearm, from any gun dealer, in every state. The NRA has been working diligently to repeal the antiquated, costly and unnecessary “permit-to-purchase” obstacle for gun owners, and has coordinated with several state Representatives to produce the new language for HB 5225.
HB 5225 as amended would, if enacted:
- Repeal the state requirement to seek police permission to purchase a firearm by traveling to a local police station and obtaining a permit to purchase.
- Repeal the requirement for a law-abiding citizen to register a legally purchased and owned firearm with the government through the police.
- Adopt the use of the federally-funded National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
- Cut Michigan’s costs by using the federally-administered national instant background check system and eliminate wasted man-hours of tracking lawful gun owners in Michigan.
- Default to the federal standard of prohibited persons and require a background check for each purchase.
Murdoc is optimistic that this is going to become law, but Michigan residents take a few minutes to contact your senators to make sure they know you care about this. Combined with the elimination of the “safety inspection” (registration) requirement after any pistol purchase, Michigan is finally on the right path for handgun ownership.