Rights Of Gun Owners Would Be Restricted By Potential Michigan “Red Flag” Law

Rights Of Gun Owners Would Be Restricted By Potential Michigan “Red Flag” Law

On Thursday, April 13, a new Michigan law that further threatens the rights of Michigan gun owners passed in the state House of Representatives. The bill now awaits approval in the Senate. If signed into law by state governor Gretchen Whitmer, the law would allow certain individuals to petition local courts to remove firearms from people they believe to be a danger to themselves or others.

Michigan’s Proposed “Extreme Risk Protection Order Act”

Under the proposed “Extreme Risk Protection Order Act” or “Red Flag” law, certain individuals who suspect that someone may use their legal firearms to cause themselves or another person harm would have the option to petition a judge to confiscate the guns. If passed, the following individuals will be eligible to file this petition:

  • Medical professionals
  • Family members
  • Current and former dating partners
  • Law enforcement
  • Mental health professionals
  • Guardians
  • Roommates
  • Current and former spouses

The gun owner does not have to be notified if a petition is filed under the proposed “Red Flag” law.. In accordance with due process, a judge will give the option to hold a hearing at which the gun owner will have an opportunity to challenge the petition.

If your guns are removed as a result of an extreme risk protection order, a skilled firearms defense lawyer can help you demonstrate to the judge that you are no longer at risk. The judge will then have the option to grant a rescission or alteration to the order.

Penalties For Refusing To Surrender Firearms Under Proposed “Red Flag” Law

If the law passes, individuals subject to an extreme risk protection order must surrender their firearms or risk arrest and a misdemeanor or felony charge. Penalties for violating the order escalate considerably with each offense:

  • First violation of the order: Misdemeanor, 93-day jail term
  • Second violation: Felony, 4 year prison sentence
  • Third violation: Felony, 5 year prison sentence

The bill requires law enforcement to make a “good faith effort” to ensure that individuals subject to an extreme risk protection order have surrendered all of their firearms. It is yet to be seen how this ambiguous language could impact the reach of law enforcement in these situations.

Contact An Experienced Michigan Gun Crimes Lawyer

The Extreme Risk Protection Order Act is just one part of a 3-prong legislative initiative that further restricts the rights of Michigan gun owners. The first two bills have been signed into law and will take effect next year. These new laws mandate safe gun storage around minors at home and background checks for private sales of guns and gun show sales.

As laws change and new gun crime charges threaten legal gun ownership, it is more important than ever to remember your right to professional legal representation. If you have been charged with a gun crime in Michigan, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who will fiercely defend your 2nd amendment rights