Michigan continues overhaul of gun laws with extended firearm ban for misdemeanor domestic violence

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Michigan continues overhaul of gun laws with extended firearm ban for misdemeanor domestic violence

Michigan Democrats who have transformed gun laws in the state in the wake of multiple mass school shootings are now making it more difficult for individuals with convictions for misdemeanor domestic violence from gaining access to guns.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation Monday that prohibits individuals convicted of a misdemeanor related to domestic violence from possessing firearms for at least an eight-year-period. State law currently includes firearm restrictions for those with felonies related to domestic abuse, but no law had existed for misdemeanor domestic violence.

“These bills are based on a simple idea: if you have been found guilty in court for violently assaulting your partner, you should not be able to access a deadly weapon that you could use to further threatened, harm or kill them.” Whitmer said at a bill signing in Kalamazoo. “It’s just common sense.”

The eight-year ban for misdemeanor domestic violence convictions is only the latest firearm restriction added to Michigan law since Democrats took control of both chambers of the state Legislature and retained the governor’s office last election.


Isn't this already federal law, though?

Yes, but this provides a potential redundancy in case the supreme Court rules it to be unconstitutional at a federal level. Because I guess sometimes laws can be unconstitutional if implemented at the federal level but not at the state level? Tbh that part kinda confuses me.

I also kinda have mixed feelings on the law. On the one hand, domestic violence isn't okay and anyone who engages in it should be locked up. Additionally, they absolutely shouldn't have access to firearms; at least not until they get their shit together. On the other hand, if I'm not mistaken a misdemeanor is generally treated as an "oopsie", like, "oopsie, I didn't know that was illegal". If someone's losing a constitutional right over an "oopsie", then maybe it shouldn't be an "oopsie" to begin with (in other words, maybe domestic violence should automatically be criminal and never a misdemeanor).

Ultra-agree, the thing that really makes no sense here is softballing violence because it happens with an intimate partner.

If we treated it like every other violence you wouldn't need a special one-off patch law since their rights would be automatically restricted by the prohibited person laws.

Tbh that part kinda confuses me.

Yeah, that part confuses me too. I am definitely not a lawyer, but I am pretty certain that constitutional restrictions apply to state laws also. I guess it would only remain after being struck down if the supreme court declares it is a "state's rights" issue like they did with Roe v. Wade.

The federal government only has authority to regulate under a certain set of defined powers. To cite the 10th Amendment:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

This is saying that any power that isn't explicitly granted to the federal government is instead held by the states. So, there are things that would be unconstitutional for the federal government to do because that power is reserved for state governments. This gets murky nowadays because that list of federal powers is interpreted very broadly (the power to regulate interstate commerce particularly, which is now said to apply to essentially anything that might plausibly affect the economies of multiple states), but the legal principle is still there.

The article talks about that.

So I see. I missed that the first time around.

I'm not entirely sure the logic holds water, but I guess the intent is for this to be a belt-and-suspenders thing.


It’s always a good sign when the best argument you can come up with is blindly pointing at a piece of paper from 300 years ago you probably haven’t even read:

I actually believe that constitutionality is an important factor in our system of checks and balances.

Unfortunately we haven't been very good at amending the constitution in recent history so we can't add new checks and/or balances.

No one wants to do so because it means relinquishing some power, and possibly loosing marketshare uh I mean voter approval.

Hmm maybe not, since Bruen implements the history/tradition check which is the basis for the felony prohibition.

I do, however, still think that domestic violence exceeds a misdemeanor and should be a felony like any other assault.

Mind elaborating a little more? Why do you think limiting violent abusers' access to murder toys is bad?

I believe that those who are not being held in custody should have their rights guaranteed by the Constitution. If they're such a danger then put them in jail for the crime. If there's no crime then you shouldn't take their rights. Voting rights which are denied in many states and gun rights which are currently denied by all. They should be restored when someone is no longer held in prison/parole.