Mich. Senate votes to repeal law requiring gun records
Lansing — The Republican-led Michigan Senate voted along party lines Thursday to repeal a law that makes it a misdemeanor for gun sellers to not keep a registry of their gun sales.
The provision is included in legislation , approved 27-10 and sent to the House, to largely make what supporters said would be minor changes to a 2015 law that eliminated gun boards for issuing and denying concealed handgun licenses. County clerks assumed the issuing responsibilities, and the state police conduct background checks.
Democrats oppose the bill because of the proposed elimination of criminal penalties for not keeping gun records. The 1931 law requires gun businesses to keep a registry of each buyer’s name, age, occupation and residence, along with information about the firearm purchased.
“If that provision wasn’t in there, I would have been happy voting for it. But with that inclusion there, it was, I felt, unpalatable,” said Sen. David Knezek, a Dearborn Heights Democrat.
Michigan State Police spokeswoman Shanon Banner said the agency does not oppose the legislation because the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives already tracks the same gun retailers, gun sales and traceable gun components as a condition of their federal firearms license. Emily Carney, chief of staff for the bill sponsor, Republican Sen. Mike Green of Mayville, said: “These records are required to be maintained at the federal level and therefore (current law) is duplicative, so its removal … is technical in nature.”
The bill also would let police officers carry concealed pistols in so-called gun-free zones. The exemption already applies for retired officers, private investigators, corrections officers and others.