Bill Proposes No State Background Checks for Pistol Purchase

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

At Total Firearms in Mason, shooting a few rounds on the range can be as simple as getting a pass and renting a handgun. Making a purchase is a different story. The store, like other federally licensed firearms dealers, would perform a federal background check on the buyer. Before that, the buyer must get a state background check (License to Purchase) at the police or sheriff's office.

Some state lawmakers are trying to eliminate the state background check process.

"So why do duplicate work, the police departments have enough to do already," said Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge.

The argument is a federal check will be performed anyway. However, Michigan State Police argues that's not always the case since 47% of all pistol purchases are done through a private transaction where a background check is not available. Sgt. Christopher Hawkins, legislative liaison for the state police, says that opens dangerous doors for criminals.

"A convicted felon or wanted fugitive would no longer have to find a covert way to purchase a pistol anymore. They could purchase at any private transaction or at any gun show and they would know that they were not going to be subject to a background check," said Sgt. Hawkins.

"Before the bill passes through the senate, the state police concerns will be addressed," said Sen. Jones.

According to Sen. Jones, the final product will streamline the purchasing process, getting rid of duplication while also maintaining public safety.

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  • by Anonymous on Oct 15, 2012 at 09:22 AM
    I feel that they should keep the purchase permit system in place. Overall, it's not that much of an infringement on my time to go thru the trouble of taking a short test for the permit, then coming back to have the gun inspected. While the legislature is at it, how about submitting legislation to remove the law that keeps Michigan residents from buying an air rifle which has a suppressor? Michigan treats an air rifle of .22 caliber the same as a gun powder fired rifle. This never made any sense.
  • by Huey Location: Lewiston on Oct 11, 2012 at 07:43 AM
    Criminals don't obtain guns legally, so what's the difference? There should be a check run BY THE STATE when someone applies for a purchase permit and that should be plenty sufficient. There is no reason to double up on the workload of an already overburdened system.
  • by TSgt B Location: USA on Oct 11, 2012 at 05:47 AM
    Well, Sgt. Hawkins, years ago I was stationed at K. I. Sawyer AFB in the U.P. As an active duty Air Force NCO, with duties including Security Police, and possessing a Top Secret (Nuclear) security clearance, to purchase a handgun from my neighbor I had to: Drive 22 miles to Marquette to obtain a "permit to purchase"; Return to the base; purchase the handgun; return to Marquette to obtain the "safety inspection certificate"; and drive back to base. Please keep in mind that I held a Top Secret clearance issued by the Department of Defense, and I maintained B-52 Avionics and Weapons release systems that released NUCLEAR WEAPONS. I was also a Marquette County Sheriff Department Search and Rescue team member, and reserve Deputy Sheriff. Your idiotic "background check" NEVER prevented a criminal from obtaining a weapon, either through a "private transaction" or by theft. Additionally, Michigan's "safety certificate" (read that HANDGUN REGISTRATION) which was implemented in 1921, had not, to that time, assisted in any way in solving ANY crime in Michigan, according to State Police records. All at the cost of several hundred thousands of TAXPAYER DOLLARS, just for the paperwork. Amazingly, I need a picture I.D. to cash a check, but not one to vote. You can take your "background check" and ...........
  • by Wendy Weinbaum Location: NYC on Oct 9, 2012 at 01:52 PM
    Background checks are a civil rights infringement! They don't require picture ID's to vote, so why should you need one to buy a gun? As a Jewess in the US, I can only say that anti-gun NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg is an embarrasment to all American Jewry. People like HIM are why all REAL Americans now put our 2nd Amendment FIRST! Remember that America wasn't won with a registered gun!
  • by Anonymous on Oct 9, 2012 at 10:22 AM
    I think we should have triple and quadruple background checks...that way we can REALLY waste taxpayer money and fool ourselves that things will be safer. I hope this law passes...the Fed check, unless someone can document a time when it wasn't, is as thorough as it can get and will eliminate a redundancy.
  • by RLEmerysgt Location: MI on Oct 9, 2012 at 08:47 AM
    Since US Supreme Court ruling Haynes vs US 390, 85, 1968 ruled that no person was legally held to obey a law that required them to violate their 5th amendment right of no self incrimination, making 85% of all 20,000 existing gun control laws requiring identification as not applicable to felons, explain again what exactly does a background check do? Are you going to confirm that the state, has a better track record than the Fed's/BATF who since 1994 have refused to prosecute more than 1% of the 1 mil felons who were caught attempting to buy from a licensed source, much less the 830,000 others who were rejected but not prosecuted, or the 95% of felons who dont even attempt to buy from a licensed source to begin with, or the 100% of those using a fake identification to pass the background check successfully, or the fact the BATF refuses to allow civilians access to the NICS system only allowing licensed dealers to do so? Thats not even considering the politicians refusal to fund and resource the people needed to manage and input the mental health reporting function in to the NICS where as of July 2012 only 1.7 mil records exist in NICS when mental health experts agree that 50% of the current 2.7 mil prisoners are severely mentally ill, and 7% of adults (21.8 mil) are also severely mentally ill. So explain again what exactly duplicating two uselsss as t-e-e-t-s on a boar hog and unenforced procedures and unenforced laws actually accomplish?
  • by mike Location: lansing on Oct 6, 2012 at 11:53 AM
    Now that would be really stupid.
  • by Bill Location: on the net on Oct 5, 2012 at 09:04 PM
    For those people that believe this will open the flood gates of blood in the streets, how about getting some knowledge about the current federal laws and stop hiding behind ignorance.
  • by Name Location: Location on Oct 5, 2012 at 01:14 PM
  • by Name Location: Location on Oct 5, 2012 at 01:10 PM
    For the people saying that federal background checks are better than state, please bear this in mind: I work with law enforcement and we regularly run background checks on people. The State of Michigan's system is updated much faster than the federal system, which can take three months minimum. If you ran only a federal background check on someone, it may not have a recent arrest on it because of the delay in the updating of the information. The state background check is worth it. Having a second set of checks in worth it.
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