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Should gun owners face criminal charges for improper storage?

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2022 | In The News |

There are many reasons a person in Michigan may own a gun ranging from hunting to self-protection. While there are laws stating how these weapons can be used, should the government be able to control how you store your firearm in your home? One piece of legislation addressing this issue, and if passed, could negatively affect gun owners throughout the state.

House Bill No. 5006

Under House Bill No. 5006, if a minor has access to an unsecured firearm in a person’s home, the owner of the firearm would be charged with a misdemeanor. If the child then goes on to injure or kill another person with the unsecured firearm or commits suicide with the unsecured firearm, the owner of the gun could face felony charges and if convicted could spend up to five years in prison. The bill is a response to a recent school shooting at Oxford High School.  In fact, the alleged shooter’s parents remain incarcerated while facing serious felony charges related to their involvement in purchasing the firearm, or at least allowing the shooter to access the firearm.

Not all agree

While some legislators support this bill, others believe it is not the best way to address gun violence. First, there are already laws on the books that make it illegal for a minor to possess a handgun and bring it to school. In addition, some legislators believe a better approach is to focus on access to mental health services and holding schools responsible when there is an imminent safety threat, rather than further criminalizing gun owners.

Ultimately, House Bill No. 5006 may be reactive overreaching attempt to curb gun owners’ rights. Some believe a proactive approach towards enacting laws to improve school safety is more appropriate than imposing further regulations on gun ownership. It remains to be seen if this bill will be passed into law and if it does how it will affect gun owners in Michigan.