Michigan House OKs Background Checks For ALL Gun Purchases

The House voted tonight to require background checks on all firearm purchases, not just handguns as required under current law.

In a vote of 56-53, the House passed HB 4138 , sponsored by Rep. Jaime Churches (D-Wyandotte). The bill included a substitute that was approved by the House Judiciary Committee earlier Wednesday evening.

HB 4142 , sponsored by Rep. Brenda Carter (D-Pontiac), and HB 4143 , sponsored by Rep. Kristian Grant (D-Grand Rapids), were also passed by the House in a vote of 56-53.

“In the wrong hands, guns intimidate. Guns kill,” Rep. Jaime Churches (D-Wyandotte) said, while recounting her experiences as a fifth-grade teacher navigating the threat of violence. “We haven’t done enough. We’ve made enough excuses.”

All three bills were reported earlier Wednesday.

The substitute for Ms. Churches’ bill makes technical changes to the language. The bill changes the word purchaser to the word seller to ensure that the gun purchase permit gets to local law enforcement agencies.

The substitute also grandfathers in currently owned long guns to ensure that long guns don’t need to be retroactively registered. The last change makes it clear that young hunters are not being targeted by the legislation.

HB 4142 and HB 4143 update references to firearms in Michigan’s penal codes and sentencing guidelines, respectively. HB 4142 is sponsored by Rep. Brenda Carter (D-Pontiac), and HB 4143 is sponsored by Rep. Kristian Grant (D-Grand Rapids).

Republicans criticized HB 4138 prior to the bill’s passage, saying that a law requiring people to register their guns would not prevent criminals from committing crimes.

“This may seem like a great idea on paper, but this is an overreach,” Rep. Jay DeBoyer (R-Clay) said.

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