Michigan Bill Would Outlaw Sale of Many Semi-Auto, Pump Guns

Michigan gun bans
Rep. Robert Wittenberg of Michigan sponsored the most restrictive gun control bill in the country. ~~photo from youtube

Democrats in the Michigan legislature have introduced a sweeping gun prohibition proposal that would ban the sale of most semi-auto and pump-action firearms capable of accepting a detachable magazine. It would also require those in the state to be registered under threat of a felony punishable by four years in prison.

This story from guns.com says the legislation, introduced on October 19, joins eight other bills in a gun control package submitted in the aftermath of the terror attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando last June.

Rep. Robert Wittenberg (D-Oak Park) sponsored the latest proposal, HB 5996, which would define an "assault weapon" rather broadly as "any semi-auto or pump-action centerfire rifle, pistol or shotgun that uses either a detachable magazine or a fixed magazine that holds more than 10 cartridges or any number of cosmetic features such as a muzzle brake or compensator, barrel shroud, pistol grip (on rifles), stock (on pistols) or revolving cylinders (on shotguns)," the story says.

Indeed, the story says if the bill is voted into law, it would be the most expansive gun ban in the country.

Anyone who owns a firearm that would henceforth be considered an “assault weapon” can keep them, but they will have to register them with the state police, even though a similar require registration have failed in New York with very few of the estimated owners of “assault weapons” registering them.

Once registered, that registration would have to be updated every year. Additionally, the owner may only possess the firearm “in working order” at shooting ranges or on their own property, with transport requiring unloading and locking in a secure container.

The story says gun-control advocates in the state like the idea and suggest the right to bear arms is somehow limited to hunters.

“None of the proposed legislation conflicts at all with the Second Amendment,” said Linda Brundage, executive director of the Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence. “If you need an assault weapon to go hunting in Michigan, I suggest you get target practice. Those are weapons of war they don’t belong in our communities or our streets.”

Even by that bizarre logic, a .22 target pistol with a 10-round magazine, like the Ruger Mark IV, would be considered a weapon of war.

Echoing Brundage's statement, Wittenberg said in the story, "None of these measures take away from our Second Amendment right to own a gun. Instead, they regulate the safe use of firearms and ensure that those who aren't fit to have a weapon—such as a suspected terrorist or a person who has threatened violence against a spouse—can't walk into a store and buy one."

It should be noted that banning the sale of a large percentage of firearms and tightly restricting the ownership of those already in existence in a given state has very little to do with the safe use of firearms.

Tom Lambert of Michigan Open Carry told Fox 17 that he believes the legislation was purposely introduced close to theNovember 8 Presidential Election.

"We're 22 months into a 24 month legislative session; I think it's what, three weeks till the election? I think everyone can piece together why they are suddenly coming out right now," Lambert said in the story.

The bill has been referred to the Committee on Criminal Justice.

We reported in April that Michigan saw a huge uptick in concealed carry permit applications, with 528,320 of the state's 9.9 million residents were licensed to carry as of March 1. By March 24 that number had jumped to 539,036. The pistols most of those residents carry would be outlawed for sale and would require annual registration under the new bill.