In 2023, Michigan’s legislature passed a series of bills designed to reduce injuries and deaths from firearms. The new laws will become effective on February 13, 2024, and will impact individuals dealing with estate planning, probate or trust administration, property division during divorce, domestic conflicts, and individuals who have both firearms and children in their home or those who are looking to purchase a firearm.
Here’s what’s taking effect:
- Firearm storage laws: People in Michigan will now be required to keep a firearm stored or left unattended on premises unloaded and locked, either with a locking device or stored in a locked container if it is “reasonably known that a minor is or is likely to be present on the premises.” There are a range of penalties for violating this requirement. (Bills: Senate Bill 79, Senate Bill 80)
- Gun safety devices: The costs of gun safety devices will be lowered in an effort to allow easier access to materials needed to safely store firearms. (Bills: Senate Bill 81, Senate Bill 82)
- Background checks: Background checks related to firearm purchases will now expand to all firearm purchases, from handguns to long guns. Previously, universal background checks were only required when purchasing a handgun in Michigan. (Bills: House Bill 4138, House Bill 4142)
- Red flag laws: Several bills were passed in Michigan to establish extreme risk protection order laws, also known as red flag laws. Red flag laws are designed to help prevent a person in distress or crisis from using a firearm to inflict damage on themself or others. The laws don’t seek to take firearms away from gun owners who aren’t dangerous or in distress. (Bills: Senate Bill 83, House Bill 4146, House Bill 4147, House Bill 4148, House Bill 4145 (was not approved))
- Domestic violence regulations: Legislation prohibits individuals convicted of a misdemeanor related to domestic violence from possessing firearms for at least an eight-year-period. Existing Michigan law only prohibited those convicted of felony domestic violence from possessing firearms. (Bills: Senate Bill 471, Senate Bill 528, House Bill 4945)
To be ready to answer questions and properly advise our clients, the team at Stimpson & Associates has carefully researched the new laws and has participated in a pistol safety training course.