On Feb 11th Gov. Snyder signed 3 bills into law. HB 4718, 4716 and 4717 which affect the possession of ammunition by a felon, sentencing guidelines for the offence.
- HB 4715 of 2013 (PA 04 of 2014)
Weapons; ammunition; possession of ammunition by certain individuals; prohibit. Amends sec. 224f of 1931 PA 328 (MCL 750.224f).
Last Action: 2/12/2014 assigned PA 04’14 with immediate effect
- HB 4716 of 2013 (PA 05 of 2014)
Weapons; ammunition; reference in sentencing guidelines; update. Amends sec. 16m, ch. XVII of 1927 PA 175 (MCL 777.16m). TIE BAR WITH: HB 4715’13
Last Action: 2/12/2014 assigned PA 05’14 with immediate effect
- HB 4717 of 2013 (PA 06 of 2014)
Weapons; ammunition; reference in 1927 PA 372; update. Amends sec. 4 of 1927 PA 372 (MCL 28.424). TIE BAR WITH: HB 4715’13
Last Action: 2/12/2014 assigned PA 06’14 with immediate effect
The Proposed Purpose of the Bill
Let me start by saying I am not a lawyer. I am simply doing my best here to relay what I have learned. You will need to consult an attorney for legal advice.
According to both federal and state law a person convicted of a felony losses his or her gun rights. I am not going to speak on the federal level as we are a local Michigan based blog. In Michigan the time that you lose your rights for varies from 3-5 years. Even after that time you still need to apply to your local gun board for reinstatement of rights.
These laws that passed are feel good legislation that allows those who voted for it to look tough on crime. The theory is that if a person does not have the right to own a gun then why does he have ammunition. Further it allows for additional charges to be levied against a felon using a gun in a crime or being found in possession of a gun illegally.
Good I Don’t Want Felons to Have Bullets.
Woah not so fast there spanky. I am with you as are many others. We carry in many cases to protect ourselves from criminals who would do us or our family harm. As such I would like it if violent felons didn’t have access to weapons or bullets. However if there is anything we have learned in life it is criminals don’t follow laws. Hell if they did they wouldn’t be criminals right.
So what we have here is really feel good legislation that does nothing for the people of Michigan.
- It does not stop criminals from buying ammunition as we have no background checks on ammunition.
- It wasted tax $ and tied up political time that could have been used to pass real and useful legislation
- It opens the door to much more dangerous legislation that will be required to support this bill
- It didn’t do anything to make anyone safer
What’s so Dangerous About This Bill?
Let’s put aside the fact that there is so many people who are labeled as felons that really should not be. The real danger of this bill is that without background checks for ammunition purchases this bill does not actually even attempt to make the public safer. If you look at the government playbook they never move for the endgame at the beginning. They slowly move the line as people become comfortable with lost freedoms.
The likely result of this is in a year or 2 or 3 even a Democrat (yes I know Rino’s sold us out on this one) will push to make ammo purchases by felons illegal. It will sound “common sense” to some and logical to others again who wants criminals to have guns. The issue is only law abiding legal ammo purchases will be tracked. So once again the good people the ones who didn’t do anything are the ones on watch lists based on ammo purchases.
How long do you think before how much ammo can be purchased is either regulated or monitored? What about what kinds of ammo so that the gov’t knows who has what types of guns? What about inexpensive web based purchases limiting people’s ability to find inexpensive ammo.
Give and Give with No Return
In Gov’t terms this bill passed relatively quickly. All without any of the pro gun owner legislation that has been in the works making it to the governor. We have SB610 sitting in the House with no movement at all. We have no move on SB213 related to the ending of pistol free zones or reducing them for regular people. We have consistently seen in this state a push in the House for anti gun feel good legislation that creates a slippery slope with not positive changes to our gun laws.
Major manufacturing companies that recently looked for new homes refused to come to Michigan due to representatives like Levin, Stabenow and Snyder who have not supported gun rights.
Keep pressure on your representatives. Don’t just ask them if they are pro gun ask them what pro gun legislation they are working on. Push them to advance SB610 and SB213 and advance our gun rights. Let them know you will not tolerate feel good legislation that further dilutes the rights of the people.
The fact that this bill was sponsored by 3 Republicans only goes to show that we are not making enough noise about how much gun legislation matters in our voting.
Remember emails are almost meaningless. We have been informed that emails do not rank as high as real letters. Real letters do not rank as high as phone calls and the ultimate is appointments to speak with those who can make a difference. If we each do our part we may have a chance to fight the lobbyists and groups like Mayors against guns and 1Million moms.