Michigan Democrats in the state house and senate have proposed a spectrum of so-called “red flag” laws, which are being described as “extreme risk protection orders.” The charge for new state legislation is being led by democratic State Senator Rosemary Bayer of Beverly Hills.
Democratic State Representative Robert Wittenberg of Huntington Woods compares the red flag statutes to other parts of the Michigan judicial code, saying, “It’s similar to a personal protection order. Some of the same evidence can be used, like social media posts or other things like that.” Under some proposed legislation, a petition could be brought before a judge for review. If the judge decides against the individual at the center of the inquiry, weapons may be removed for up to a year.
Senator Bayer links her support to these proposals to a personal friend who committed suicide by firearm when she was a teenager. Similarly, proponents of the various legislation suggest the action would help prevent some violent crime and instances of suicide by those owning firearms.
Michigan democrats follow other states New York and Virginia that have made news lately with the passage of various new gun laws.
Virginia governor Ralph Northam recently passed a budget increase in the state corrections budget to account for the imprisoning of Virginians refusing to comply with the state’s weapon ban that requires forced confiscation or delivery by gun owners of certain types of firearms.
Opponents of red flag law legislation claim it is a violation of constitutional liberties provided by the 2nd and 4th amendments, since no actual criminal conviction or indictment is required to enact the state-sponsored removal.
Whether legislation will gain traction in either branch of the state congress is yet to be seen, but there is sure to be vocal support and opposition throughout the process by activist groups on both sides and legal challenges should any piece of legislation be signed into law by Democratic governor Gretchen Whitmer.