December 12, 2022
Citizens of the great state of Michigan, whose rights have been trampled by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for the past four years, are an excellent example of how elections have consequences.
When the new Michigan legislative session starts in a few weeks, Democrats will hold the majority in both the state House of Representatives and the Senate, along with controlling the governor’s mansion for the first time in four decades. And one of the first battles lawful gun owners will be forced to fight is against a poorly written “assault weapons” ban measure that would outlaw hundreds of common rifles, including many used by hunters.
House Bill 6544 would ban rifles based on features but has far fewer requirements than similar legislation considered in several other states. According to the language of the measure, it will “ban the manufacture, possession, purchase and sale of assault weapons,” which it defines as “any semi-automatic rifle that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine and has one or more” listed characteristics.
Those characteristics include a pistol grip or thumbhole stock, any feature “capable of functioning as a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand,” a folding or telescoping stock, or a shroud that is “attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the non-trigger hand without being burned, but excluding a slide that encloses the barrel.”
Obviously, that takes in a lot of firearms, including AR-15-style rifles, America’s most popular rifle type that is legally owned and safely used by hundreds of thousands of Michigan citizens. The vague definition of anything capable of functioning as a protruding grip and the shroud that keeps the non-trigger hand from being burned will apparently be up to law enforcements and the courts, since those are not defined further in the measure.
Since there are no caliber stipulations in the language, the measure would also ban many popular rimfire rifles, including the Ruger 10/22—one of the country’s most popular and best-selling .22 rifles.
A “grandfather clause” in the legislation would allow those who currently own such firearms to keep them as long as they register them with the state government and re-register them every five years for an unspecified fee. Of course, such a clause is only included to pacify gun owners and then could be removed in subsequent legislation—a frequent gun-ban tactic.
Firearms News Field Editor James Tarr has lived in the Great Lakes State for more than 50 years. He’s appalled at the new legislation that, like most gun laws, will only affect lawful residents of the state.
“The so-called ‘assault weapons ban’ legislation will do nothing to reduce crime,” Tarr said. “No gun control has reduced crime anywhere. By definition, only law-abiding citizens obey gun laws, and criminals and tyrants much prefer unarmed victims.
“Any law which seeks to disarm law-abiding citizens is inherently evil, and on its face a direct violation of the Second Amendment, which was written to protect us from tyrants.”
Lastly, the legislation gives the Michigan State Police full power to fill in all the blanks in the legislation, of which there are many. The measure states in Section 3: “The department of state police shall promulgate rules pursuant to the administrative procedures act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, MCL 24.201 to 24.328, to implement this act.”
Note that we reached out to Michigan Gun Owners for comment on this story but had not heard back from them at the time of this posting. We’ll update this story if we receive a statement from that organization.
If you have any thoughts or comments on this article, we’d love to hear them. Email us at FirearmsNews@Outdoorsg.com.
About the Author
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for over 20 years.