A new bill to ban the sale and possession of assault rifles in Michigan has been introduced in the House as part of a package of bills. The bills, proposed by Democrat Robert Wittenberg and others, are claimed by the bill’s sponsors, to be making the residents of Michigan safer by imposing new regulations on gun ownership and possession. Second Amendment advocates argue that if the bill becomes law, only criminals will have the illegal guns.
When asked about his role in the proposed bills, Wittenberg agreed that gun ownership was fundamental to the U.S. but that it shouldn’t mean that residents have to accept unnecessary injuries and deaths as a result. He also said that he was proud to be a part of proposals that will “restore common sense to our firearms legislation and protect millions of Michiganders from gun violence.” Obviously not everyone agrees with this idea.
Senator Ken Horn has spoken out against the bill, calling it “flawed” and saying that he believes it’s “dead on arrival.” According to Horn, if this bill was signed into law it would turn honest citizens into criminals overnight. He also pointed out that laws of this nature do nothing to stop actual criminals.
The legislation defines an assault weapon as, among other things, a semiautomatic pistol, or semiautomatic or pump-action rifle which uses a detachable magazine, with a minimum of one additional feature. This additional feature could include: a shoulder stock on a pistol, a protruding grip not held by the operator’s trigger hand, a pistol grip behind the trigger (on a rifle), a barrel shroud, or a muzzle brake or compensator.
Under this new, proposed legislation, assault rifles would still be allowed to people who had owned them prior to the new law being signed by our governor. However, certain restrictions would apply, like annual storage checkups performed by the Michigan State Police. Anyone caught violating the assault rifle law would, under the proposed legislation, be guilty of a felony punishable by four years in prison, a fine of up to $2,100, or both.
In addition to the bill that will make assault rifles illegal, there were a number of other proposed changes to gun rights in Michigan. They include:
- Making it illegal for anyone to brandish an imitation firearm, with increased penalties for those found guilty
- Making it illegal for anyone to alter a firearm, or an imitation firearm, with increased penalties for these crimes,
- Making it required that ballistic identification information be provided to police before certain handguns are sold to the public,
- Making it required that all lost or stolen ammunition be reported to police, and
- Making it illegal for anyone to purchase a firearm with the intention of providing it to a minor or anyone else who is prohibited from gun ownership by the law (eg: a felon)
Some people are openly against the assault rifle bill, claiming that it will violate their Second Amendment rights. However, there are also a surprising number of people who believe that the bill is a step in the right direction. They say that gun control is an issue that needs to be addressed, and too many people have already lost their lives. What do you think?