The issue of firearms restrictions and gun safety has been a highly controversial topic, both here in Michigan and everywhere else in the US, for many years. People go back and forth between protecting second amendment rights, and wanting to keep the public safe and reduce the number of school shootings, like those that happened in Flint, Detroit, and Mount Pleasant.
The 101st Michigan Legislature has already introduced over 200 bills, which address a wide range of topics from Covid19 relief to increasing security at the Capitol in Lansing. But the proposed laws we’d like to share with you are those that affect gun ownership for Michigan residents.
Taking a Gun into the Lansing Capitol Building
On January 11, 2021, the Michigan Capitol Commission voted unanimously to add visible guns to the list of items banned from the Capitol building. However, individuals would still be allowed to carry concealed firearms in the building, as long as they are licensed to do so. In support of this move, bills introduced by Rep. Julie Brixie and Sen. Rosemary Bayer (HB 4023 and SB 34) would make guns illegal to carry in the state Capitol building in Lansing.
This is a somewhat controversial measure, and has drawn harsh criticism from some who say it infringes on their right to protest at the Capitol, which includes carrying arms. Speaker of the House Jason Wentworth has already stated that he believes the Commission doesn’t have the authority to make this type of ruling. Attorney General Dana Nessel disagrees, and has written a legal opinion in support of her views.The law here in Michigan says that opinions from the Attorney General are binding unless overturned by a court.
Concealed Weapons in Restricted Areas
Another bill recently introduced is House Bill 4006, which Rep. Gary Eisen hopes will allow elected officials to carry concealed firearms in restricted areas. These restricted areas would include schools and day care centers, sports arenas, hospitals, bars and theaters, schools and college campuses, and even churches.
This exception would only apply to elected officials, like County Sheriffs, state court Judges, legislators, and the governor. Also, the exemptions on carrying concealed weapons would not apply to federally owned and operated buildings, like a post office building in Kalamazoo, or a federal courthouse in Detroit, a national park or on Indian reservations.
Reduced Penalties for Concealed Guns in Restricted Areas
Another bill introduced by Eisen was House Bill 4010, which is aimed at lowering the penalties for people convicted of carrying concealed weapons in restricted areas. Under the proposed law, the current $500 fine would be lowered to $250 for a first offense, and the automatic suspension of your gun license would no longer happen.
For second offenses, the penalty would remain a misdemeanor, and the $1,000 fine would also stay, but a judge would be allowed to decide if the convicted person can keep their CPL concealed pistol license (under the current law it would be automatically and permanently revoked), and only if it happened within five years of the first offense. Under current Michigan law, third offenses are four year felonies with fines of up to $5,000. The proposed new law would lower the sentencing maximum to two years, and also only if the offense happened within five years of the second one.
A Reminder About Michigan’s Gun Laws
It’s important to remember that all of these are nothing more than proposed changes. None of them have been signed into law, and they may never be. However, the current law in Michigan, whether you live in Lansing, Grand Rapids, Tuscola, Ottawa County, or anywhere else in the state, is that if you’re carrying a firearm while committing a felony (or even attempting to commit a felony) you’re looking at a felony conviction with a mandatory minimum 2 year sentence.
Gun convictions are very serious in Michigan. Being convicted of a weapons-related crime can make it extremely difficult to get a good job, or get into a reputable school or find good housing. Not to mention the fact that your ability to own a gun in the future will be compromised when your gun rights get revoked. (For more information about that, read RestoreMyGunRights.info) That’s why it’s so important to have a highly respected and experienced firearms defense attorney. Whether you’re in St. Johns, Midland, or Ann Arbor, The Kronzek Firm can help you defend your future and protect your rights. Call 866 766 5245 today to set up your free phone or Zoom consultation. Our team is available 24/7 for emergency help and crisis control. Call us at 866 7NoJail.