Legislation /

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Signs 'Red Flag' Gun Confiscation Law in Michigan

Any person who does not comply could be fined up to $20,000 and serve five years in prison

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a sweeping red flag law that will allow a long list of individuals the right to petition a court to have a person’s firearms confiscated.

Senate Bill 83 would create the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act and allow the following individuals to ask the court remove someone’s access to a firearm:

  • Spouse
  • Former spouse
  • A person who shares a child
  • Current or ex boyfriend or girlfriend
  • Anyone who has lived in the same house
  • Family member (parent, son or daughter, sibling, grandparents, grandchild, aunt, uncle, or cousin)
  • Guardian
  • Health care provider in any state (physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, certified nurse specialist)
  • Mental health professional in any state
  • Law enforcement agency (sheriff, state police, city police, campus/university/junior college/private college police, department of corrections officer or employee)

An individual targeted under the ERPO may have the opportunity to prove they are not a risk at a hearing that would be required to be scheduled within 14 days of the order being issued, according to the bill.

The new law also gives the court the ability to impose the firearm confiscation order without any due process if the court feels that “’immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result from the delay” in scheduling a hearing.

If the court issues an ERPO, firearms within a targeted individual’s possession or control must be surrendered within 24 hours, or at the court’s discretion.

However, the court may also order an “immediate surrender,” which would issue search a warrant giving police the authority to raid any “location or locations where the firearm, or firearms, or concealed pistol license is believed to be and to seize any firearm or concealed pistol license discovered” during the search.

“We have heard too many times from those who knew a mass shooter who had expressed concern in advance about that mass shooter’s intentions,” Whitmer said the day she signed the legislation. “With extreme risk protection orders, we have a mechanism to step in and save lives.”

An ERPO would have to be served personally by a law enforcement officer and would take effect immediately after being served. The order will be enforceable anywhere in the state.

Any person who does not comply with an ERPO is subject to fines of up to $20,000 and up to five years in prison.

SB 83 is the last of an 11-bill suite of gun control laws from Michigan officials this year.

Some sheriffs in the state have vowed not to enforce any gun control laws they deem unconstitutional. However, the state’s attorney general has said she would find someone with the jurisdiction to enforce the new law.

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