Gov. Whitmer to sign Michigan’s ‘red flag law’

Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 12:27 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 19, 2023 at 6:17 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Gun reform advocates are celebrating as another set of gun reforms is heading to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk.

Any day now, the governor will sign the state’s red flag law, which allows a judge to temporarily take someone’s gun if they pose a risk to themselves or others.

The Michigan Senate signed off on creating Michigan’s red flag law Wednesday.

It is the third piece to a series of gun reforms Democrats pushed through after the mass shooting at Michigan State University in February.

“It’s just an incredible day. It’s going to save lives,” said Sen. Mallory McMorrow, (D) Royal Oak.

Sen. McMorrow has been trying to get this law passed over the last four years but it didn’t go anywhere in previous Republican-controlled legislatures.

The bills passed Wednesday allow people to petition a judge to temporarily remove someone’s guns if they are deemed dangerous to themselves or the public.

Sen. McMorrow said people across the state have tried using a red flag law when Michigan didn’t even have one.

“What we know is this is proven in other states, like Indiana, to reduce suicide, and it was really important to get it done,” said McMorrow.

“Everybody agrees that at some point, somebody can be a danger to themselves. The issue is at what point do we consider a danger to themselves,” said Tom Lambert, Michigan Open Carry legislative director.

Lambert has been speaking against the entire gun reform package since it was introduced.

He said Michigan’s version of a red flag law is too broad. He wants to see more requirements be met before a judge can issue the order.

“The higher the threshold, the more due process there is and the more constitutional it is,” said Lambert.

Last week, Gov. Whitmer signed the two other gun reform bill packages into law, which include expanding background checks for all gun sales and requiring people to lock up their guns especially if children live in the home.

Once Gov. Whitmer signs the bill, Michigan will join 18 other states, and Washington, D.C., with some sort of red flag laws on the books.

Michigan’s new red flag law won’t take effect until early next year.

Related: Michigan gun reform draws mixed responses across state

Subscribe to our News 10 newsletter and receive the latest local news and weather straight to your email every morning.