A coalition of mayors, police chiefs and other Michiganders – including Saline Mayor Gretchen Driskell – today applauded Governor Rick Snyder for rejecting a bill that would have sharply undercut a program that bars criminals, the mentally ill and other dangerous people from buying handguns.
The governor announced yesterday that he would not sign HB 5225, which would have repealed the Michigan “purchase permit” law that now requires potential gun buyers to pass a background check and a basic firearm safety test before buying a handgun.
The bill would have effectively exempted 48 percent of Michigan’s annual handgun sales, those conducted by unlicensed “private” sellers at gun shows or over the Internet, from a background check. If the measure had passed, only federally licensed firearms dealers would still be required to conduct checks.
The National Rifle Association lobbied aggressively to repeal the permitting system, and the accompanying background check and training requirements.
Law enforcement leaders say that in 2011, the system blocked just under 2,600 prohibited gun buyers from obtaining permits. Several police chiefs warned legislators that the bill would make unregulated gun sellers a magnet for dangerous people who want to avoid a background check.
The bill would also have eliminated the state’s database of purchase permit holders, denying police a vital source of investigative leads, law enforcement officials said.
Source: Mayors Against Illegal Guns press release