Gun control bills advancing in Michigan

AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File

Michigan was a decently pro-gun state for a while. It wasn’t perfect, of course–few places are–but it wasn’t an awful place to exercise your right to keep and bear arms.


Now, though, the state has gone firmly anti-gun it seems. That means more and more gun control from Democrats in the legislature and from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

They’ve passed a number of gun control bills recently. It seems they’re poised to pass even more.

New legislation in the Michigan House would prohibit anyone convicted of domestic violence from possessing a gun for eight years after their sentence.

Michigan’s current law only applies to felony domestic violence, a rare charge. The bills have been introduced but did not receive a vote. Thirty-one other states have similar laws.

On Tuesday, the House Criminal Justice Committee voted to advance two bills, HB 4945 and HB 4946, both sponsored by Democratic State Rep. Amos O’Neal of Saginaw.

Every Democrat on the committee voted in favor of this measure. Two Republicans abstained while one voted no, thus advancing the measure.

Now, understand that I have no use for domestic violence offenders, be it at the felony or misdemeanor level.

What I do have a problem with, however, is stripping someone of their gun right for something that isn’t a felony. I’m not crazy about people doing their time only to continue being punished by being denied their rights, but at least that’s been the case for decades now.


Trying to expand that, even if temporarily, to those convicted of misdemeanors is a different matter entirely.

You see, it’s not going to stop there.

People who commit domestic violence are, rightly, vilified by our society. They’re considered scum and no one will defend them, and for good reason. Violating the trust one person places in another by being in a relationship with them is particularly egregious, especially since it causes far more harm than just the physical injuries left behind.

No, it’s far, far worse than that.

But they’re not going to start trying to expand their gun control efforts by targeting jaywalkers, now are they? They’re not going to latch onto speeding as the problem. It always starts with things people universally agree are bad, such as domestic violence.

It’ll then likely spread to other violations, like DUI as we’ve seen elsewhere. They’ll target misdemeanor hate crimes.

But again, it won’t stop there. At each point, it’s really about moving the Overton Window so further gun control seems like a natural progression rather than a continued march on infringing our rights.


If Michigan has a felony domestic violence law and it’s rarely used, that’s a problem for them to address with prosecutors and the courts. If those same prosecutors and courts don’t think the incident warrants felony penalties then the legislature needs to back off on trying to push them anyway.

It’s not about the issue that is domestic violence. I think we can all agree it needs to be addressed. This, however, isn’t the answer.

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