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This Session, Michigan Lawmakers Should Pass Bills to Keep Guns Out of the Hands of Domestic Abusers

January 8, 2020

As lawmakers return to Lansing for the second term of Michigan’s legislative session Wednesday, they will have new opportunities to pass common-sense gun safety bills. A top priority for lawmakers should be: closing the gaps that give domestic abusers easy access to guns. Last April, Michigan lawmakers introduced a bipartisan package, HB 4497 and HB 4498, that would help keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and follow the footsteps of the majority of other states to protect Michigan women and children. 

State lawmakers can act now. Since the introduction of the bipartisan bills in April, House Judiciary Committee Chair Graham Filler has yet to hold a single hearing on the legislation. 

Here’s what to know about the policy:

Michigan HB 4497 & HB 4498

  • Michigan House bills 4497 and 4498 would prohibit people subject to active personal protection orders and people convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence, including dating partners, from possessing or purchasing firearms.
  • In Michigan, between 2013-2017, at least 201 residents were killed in intimate partner homicides. Guns are the weapon of choice for domestic abusers: firearms were used in 51 percent of the intimate partner homicides in the state. 
  • Research shows that laws prohibiting abusers subject to domestic violence protection orders from possessing firearms are associated with a 13 percent reduction in intimate partner firearm homicides.

HB 4497 and 4498 would close dangerous gaps in Michigan’s law to protect women and children from deadly gun violence. For Rick and Martha Omilian, whose daughter Maggie was fatally shot at Kalamazoo College by her ex-boyfriend, this policy could have prevented their daughter’s killer from accessing a firearm. This bill package would close the dangerous boyfriend loophole by prohibiting abusive dating partners from purchasing or possessing firearms. 

Statistics about gun violence in Michigan are available here and information on how Michigan’s gun laws compare to other states’ overall is available here

If you have questions, or to request an interview with a volunteer from Michigan Moms Demand Action, please don’t hesitate to reach out. 

If you're a member of the media, please send inquiries to [email protected]