A couple of weeks ago I discussed HB 5225 here and on First Shift with Tony. It was a well-received topic so I’d like to follow up by reviewing some of the firearm related bills that have either passed, or are out there on the deck right now. Some of this will be a little dry but I encourage you to take a look at the whole thing, there’s some crazy stuff at the end.
Let’s start with HB 5737, which enhances penalties for drive-by shootings. This bill was introduced by Rep. Stacy Erwin Oakes (D) on June 13 and it would authorize life sentences anyone convicted of intentionally discharging a firearm from a vehicle in the event that the victim is killed. If the victim is injured the bill would authorize an additional 15 to 20 years in prison. These penalties are in addition to any sentence imposed for assault, attempted murder, etc. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee on June 13 and there it sits.
2011 HB 5145 was introduced on November 3 2011 by Rep. Thomas Stallworth, III (D). This bill would classify fatal drive by shootings as first-degree murder. This bill was discharged from the House Judiciary Committee on April 26, 2012, with a recommendation that the bill be passed in the House. However there has been no action on the bill since then. HFA is here.
HB 5704 introduced by Rep Hugh Crawford (R) on May 30 is a bill to clarify that a state ban on firearm silencers does not apply to someone who has the appropriate federal license. This bill was referred to House Judiciary Committee on May 30, which is where it remains.
HB 5282 was introduced by Rep. Bruce Rendon (R) on January 24, 2012, to revise restrictions on transporting an unloaded pistol in a vehicle for lawful purposes. Basically this bill addresses “lawful purposes” and eliminates the prohibition on transporting a “not readily accessible” pistol under certain conditions. There are still some restrictions in place (see the SFA for details). This bill was passed in the House 95 to 14 on May 31, and it currently sits in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
2011 HB 5064 was introduced by Rep. Paul Opsommer (R) on October 12, 2011. This bill would allow people to keep their firearms in their car (under the same rules as transporting firearms) when those vehicles are kept in parking garages, lots, etc. It would also extend immunity to those establishments in the event that a firearm was stolen from a vehicle in the garage, etc., and used in a crime. This bill has been in the House Judiciary Committee since October 12, 2011.
HB 5249 introduced by Rep. Matt Lori (R) on January 17, 2012, addresses the types of firearms allowed for deer hunting south of the “rifle line.” Passed 106 to 2 in the House on September 27, 2012 and it is now in the Senate Outdoor Recreation & Tourism Committee. For background info on the rifle line, see page 2 of this pdf, there’s a graphic & an explanation. Basically this bill will open up the “limited firearms area” to hunting with shotguns, large pistols, and a couple of other firearms. See the HFA for a good analysis along with info on the cost to the DNR.
2011 SB 775 introduced by Sen Michael Green (R) on October 25, 2011, appears to do the same thing as HB 5249. It’s been sitting in the Senate Outdoor Recreation & Tourism Committee since it was introduced.
2011 SB 780 , SB 779, and SB 781. 780 and 781 are tie-barred with 791. This package addresses imitation firearms, making it a crime to make an imitation appear to be real and a real firearm appear to be an imitation. There are also penalties defined for brandishing an imitation firearm. The last action on these bills was on February 15 of this year, when there were some substitutes that were passed by voice vote.
2011 HB 4591 is a bill that would allow retired federal law enforcement officers to carry a firearm in the “gun free zones” (schools, day cares, etc.) It was introduced by Rep Frank Foster (R) on April 27, 2011 and it passed the House after some language was added to exempt veterans and active military personnel from CCW training. It’s been in the Senate Judiciary Committee since May 22.
2011 Senate Bills 760, 761, and 762 were signed into law on June 25, 2012. This package lowered the definition of a pistol to 26” in length. Originally the definition of a pistol was anything less than 30” which impacted some of the shorter rifles. This package had little opposition in the House and Senate so it passed easily. This legislation appears to have increasing significance though, now that there are an increasing number of bills that address the handling of “pistols.”
2011 House Bills 4124, 4125, 4126, and 4247 are tie-barred and similarly change the definition of a pistol as something less than 26” in length. These bills were introduced in January and February of 2011 and have remained in the House Judiciary Committee.
Senate Bill 1045 was signed into law on June 25 2012. This bill allows a disabled person to “carry an unloaded firearm in or on an off road vehicle on a state licensed game bird hunting preserve, and shoot game from the vehicle. A state ORV helmet would not apply if the ORV is held below 10 miles per hour.” Sounds reasonable, until you check out the Senate Fiscal Agency analysis:
Under the bill, “person with a disability” means a disabled person as that term is defined in Section 19a of the Michigan Vehicle Code, who possesses a certificate of identification, windshield placard, or special registration plate issued to a disabled person under the Code. (Under Section 19a, “disabled person” means a person who is determined by a physician, physician assistant, or optometrist to have one or more of the following characteristics:
– Inability to walk more than 200 feet without stopping to rest.
– Inability to use one or both legs or feet; and to walk without the use of a wheelchair, walker, crutch, brace, prosthetic, or other device, without another person’s assistance.
– A lung disease or cardiovascular condition that meets standards prescribed in the Code.
– An arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition that severely limits the person’s ability to walk.
– The persistent reliance upon an oxygen source other than ordinary air.)
Emphasis mine, because it’s BLINDNESS for fuck sake.
And finally for something fun (not) and weird (yes), check out this Obama v Romney thread on MI Gun Owners forum. There is a link to a Christian Science Monitor article, but the thread itself is interesting. Despite Obama having a stronger record on gun rights than Romney, some forum participants are more concerned about Obama because of what Obama might do in a 2nd term. Apparently he was faking everything in the first term so that he could trick you into electing him into a second, which is where he’ll unleash his anti-gun manifesto. Or something.
Fear is so powerful.