A new law passed by the Michigan legislature goes into effect tomorrow. It eliminates "safety inspections" of handguns, but not registration. This column by Joel Fulton explains the law.
Guest column: Michigan gun law to change Wednesday
Beginning Wednesday, Michigan will no longer require a post-purchase safety inspection of handguns purchased. Currently, every time a handgun is purchased in Michigan, whether it is a commercial sale or a private sale between two individuals, the purchaser must take the pistol to their local police department and present it for "safety inspection." During these inspections, actual checks for safety really never took place. What was accomplished was that the make, model, caliber and serial number of the gun was registered to the purchaser. The Legislature has recognized the hypocrisy of this process and will now trust its citizens to send them the correct information regarding the handgun to be registered.
The process will work like this. After Wednesday, both the Michigan License to Purchase a Pistol and the Pistol Sales Record (the form used for handgun purchasers who possess a Michigan Concealed Pistol License) will become four-part forms rather than three-part forms. The Michigan License to Purchase a Pistol will change in color from green to yellow. When a handgun is purchased, the forms will be filled out as usual and the four forms will be utilized in the following manner: one part will be retained by the seller, one part will be retained by the purchaser, and two parts will be delivered to the purchaser's local police department. It will be the responsibility of the purchaser to make sure the two copies reach the police department. The purchaser may do this by hand delivering them or by sending them via first-class mail. The copy of the sales record retained by the purchaser must be kept and carried any time the purchaser is carrying or transporting the firearm for the first 30 days following the date of purchase of the firearm. If caught, failure to carry this copy of the sales record for this 30-day time period will result in a civil infraction of a $250 fine and disciplinary action from the county gun board.
This change in the law should convenience individuals who work long hours and are currently unable to purchase handguns because they have to use up a vacation day from work in order to fulfill the current requirement to have a handgun safety inspected in the first 10 days following purchase at their local police department. This is difficult because most local police departments do not accommodate the working hours of the average citizen. This new system will greatly convenience the law-abiding citizens of our state.