LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement after the introduction of SB 1045 in the Michigan Senate by Sen. Rick Jones (R – Grand Ledge).
In Michigan, when a person tries to buy a gun from a licensed gun dealer and submits to a background check using the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the sale will be denied if the person is determined to be prohibited from having guns by state or federal law. A prohibited person who tries to buy a gun this way commits a federal crime, but that person often faces no consequences. The FBI investigates only a fraction of these individuals and does not notify Michigan law enforcement that a person with a dangerous history – such as a felony or domestic violence conviction – has attempted to buy a gun within the state.
SB 1045 would require the Michigan State Police to be informed when a person attempting to buy a gun from a gun dealer fails a background check, allowing law enforcement to intervene and prevent people with dangerous histories from buying guns illegally.
STATEMENT FROM EMILY DURBIN, VOLUNTEER CHAPTER LEADER WITH THE MICHIGAN CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA AND A CONSTITUENT OF BILL SPONSOR SEN. RICK JONES:
“This bill would give Michigan’s law enforcement officers an important new tool to prevent gun violence. When someone trying to buy a gun fails a background check because of a dangerous history, Michigan law enforcement should have that information. A number of other states have wisely passed similar laws, and while lawmakers should continue working on this bill to ensure it covers all gun sales, SB 1045 is a good start. It’s encouraging to see our lawmakers working to bring this sensible policy to Michigan.”
Recent experience in Washington State reveals the importance of this information. Last year, Washington enacted a law to notify law enforcement about illegal gun purchase attempts, and in just the first five months, more than one thousand purchase denials were reported to state law enforcement. That’s one thousand times a person who is not allowed to have guns tried to buy one and failed the background check. Without a similarly strong reporting system, Michigan law enforcement will not learn about similar illegal purchase attempts in Michigan.