Michigan Seeks to Ban Guns for Some Misdemeanors

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

There are a lot of people out there who are fine with felons, particularly violent felons, being prevented from owning guns.

A guy who commits murder, for example, is someone who has demonstrated themselves as being pretty dangerous. As such, a lot of people are just fine with such a person never being able to lawfully own a firearm again.


Of course, if they’re inclined to kill again, they’ll find a way to do it regardless of what the laws about gun ownership say.

But when we start talking about non-felonies, people should start getting nervous. After all, once you start including misdemeanors, how long until that particular list started to include almost anyone who ever made a mistake that got them in hot water with the law?

That’s the road Michigan seems to be going down.

Michigan Democrats who have transformed gun laws in the state in the wake of multiple mass school shootings are now making it more difficult for individuals with convictions for misdemeanor domestic violence from gaining access to guns.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation Monday that prohibits individuals convicted of a misdemeanor related to domestic violence from possessing firearms for at least an eight-year-period. State law currently includes firearm restrictions for those with felonies related to domestic abuse, but no law had existed for misdemeanor domestic violence.

“These bills are based on a simple idea: if you have been found guilty in court for violently assaulting your partner, you should not be able to access a deadly weapon that you could use to further threatened, harm or kill them.” Whitmer said at a bill signing in Kalamazoo. “It’s just common sense.”

The eight-year ban for misdemeanor domestic violence convictions is only the latest firearm restriction added to Michigan law since Democrats took control of both chambers of the state Legislature and retained the governor’s office last election.

Democratic State Sen. Stephanie Chang, a lead sponsor of the bill package, said Monday that the latest legislation would put Michigan in line with similar laws in 31 other states and the District of Columbia.


The fact that a number of other states have such a law is neither here nor there. Nor are any mass shootings that took place in the state.

What matters is that when you start expanding the list of crimes one can lose their gun rights for, even if only temporarily, then that list will grow.

No one is going to defend domestic abusers and proponents of the bill know that. They know no one wants to speak out and defend such people. Look at the defenses of the Rahimi case, for a prime illustration of it. None of us who wrote on the topic defended Rahimi himself. We only took issue with the way his gun rights were taken from him and how that could be used against someone who isn’t a scumbag.

But it won’t stop with them.

We’ve already seen states try this with people convicted of DUIs. We’ll likely see it with other misdemeanors.

Yet one question no one has ever answered is why, if this crime is so heinous, would it not be a felony in the first place? After all, as noted previously, few people think violent felons should also have the right to keep and bear arms. Why not just make this particular crime a felony, then it’s not a Second Amendment issue at all.

One potential answer is that prosecutors plea bargain down felonies to misdemeanors, which is why they figure this kind of law is needed.


Which is funny because the prosecutors most likely to do that are often the same that won’t prosecute for much of anything in the first place, the same kind that have likely led to our cities becoming dystopian hellholes.

The depressing thing is that this bill will likely pass and even survive legal challenge, at least up to a point. How many people will be disarmed who don’t really represent a threat, all while the truly dangerous people aren’t stopped by gun control?


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