Proposed Legislation Aims to Close Michigan’s “Boyfriend Loophole” For Guns!

A close up of a man's hands as he holds and points a hand gun.
Spouses can’t own guns after domestic violence convictions, but unmarried partners can!

Right now, if you live in Michigan and you get into an altercation with your spouse that results in them hurting you (whether that means punching you, hitting you, kicking you, or injuring you in any other way physically) the law is clear about how that affects their future gun ownership. Specifically, it means they’re not allowed to buy or own a gun once they’ve been convicted of domestic abuse against a spouse. 

However, play that entire scenario over again with a couple who aren’t married, and suddenly the rules change. A boyfriend or girlfriend or domestic partner by any other name can be convicted of domestic violence, but can still go out and get a gun to keep. It’s a strange technicality in the law called the “boyfriend loophole” and a number of Michigan legislators would like to close it up for good!

Only federal authorities can take guns from people convicted of domestic abuse

Right now, only federal authorities have the right to confiscate firearms from people convicted of domestic violence in Michigan when the victim wasn’t a spouse. House Representative Daire Rendon believes this is unacceptable, and who are often the victims of domestic abuse by their partners. “We had sections in the law that said people who do these things shouldn’t have guns,” she says, “But there really wasn’t very much enforcement in making that happen!” 

So Rendon has created House Bills 4497 and 4498, which she hopes will close the loophole in the law and also give law enforcement and courts a real chance to protect victims of domestic abuse. Under the new laws, if you own a gun and you’re convicted of domestic violence against ANY type of partner, the court can order the confiscation of your firearm. Although there’s a concern that this would be a violation of your Second Amendment rights, Rendon says if you break the law, “all bets are off” when it comes to your gun rights!

Domestic violence and gun ownership are hot topics in Michigan.

Every year in the U.S., 600 women are shot to death by their intimate partners. In fact, half of all American women shot to death, died at the hands of their partners. Statistics also show that when an abuser has access to a firearm, their partner is five times more likely to be shot. With this kind of data available, it’s easy to see why people feel so strongly about the issue of domestic violence and gun ownership in Michigan.

As attorneys who’ve helped countless Michigan residents dealing with divorces as a result of domestic violence, personal protection orders, emergency hearings for child custody agreements, and a host of other concerns, we know what’s involved. Wwe know what’s at stake here, and how to help you stay safe. Call us at 866 766 5245 right now and talk to our skilled and experienced family law attorneys. We’re available 24/7 to help.

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