Here's a look at the new Michigan gun laws taking effect in February

Posted at 8:39 AM, Jan 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-01 13:24:10-05

(WXYZ) — Today is the first day of 2024 and officially in just more than a month, there will be a change with the current gun laws that are in place right now.

These changes stem from recent mass shootings in Michigan: one at Oxford High School in 2021 where four students died and others were injured, and last year, at Michigan State University, where three students lost their lives and another five students were injured.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed these laws last year aiming to reduce gun violence.

Here's a look at some of the new laws surrounding firearms that go into effect on February 13:

First up is Michigan's new gun storage law. This new law aims to improve safe storage of firearms.

How does this law impact you as a gun owner?

If you're a firearm owner, you must lock your guns in the presence of anyone under the age of 18.

If a minor obtains a gun because it was not stored properly, you the owner could face 93 days in jail.

If a minor obtains a gun and hurts someone with it, a person could be found guilty of a felony punishable of up to 5 years in jail.

And if a minor uses that unsecured firearm and kills someone with that unsecured firearm, the owner of that weapon could be charged with a felony and face a 15 year prison sentence.

Fines for any violation range from $500 to $5,000.

Paired with gun storage is gun safety devices. In 2023, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a pair of bills eliminating the sales tax on any gun locks or storage devices to encourage gun owners to safely secure their guns when not using them.

Next up is a new law concerning universal background checks. The universal background check now applies to all firearm purchases including long guns prior to this new law. Universal background checks were required for handgun purchases only and long guns with barrels shorter than 16 inches, which under federal law was considered a pistol. Now anyone buying a gun must undergo a universal background check to also obtain a license.

New state red flag laws are next up. These laws are not aimed at taking away a gun or stripping one of their Second Amendment right. This law will be put into place to prevent a gun owner who is in distress, or a having a mental health crisis, from harming themselves or others. A judge will have the ultimate discretion by issuing an emergency short term order.

Finally there are domestic violence regulations. This law would prohibit someone who has been convicted of a misdemeanor related to a domestic violence related crime from possessing a firearm for up to 8 years. Right now, Michigan law only prohibits those convicted of felony domestic violence from possessing a firearm.