Michigan Open Carry, a gun owners rights organization, opposed the legislation, calling it a "bait and switch" that went beyond domestic violence offenses to also include new three- to five-year restrictions on more minor non-assaultive misdemeanors.
"Federal courts are already striking down prohibitions based on non-violent felonies," Tom Lambert, of Michigan Open Carry, testified in committee in September. "How are courts going to view non-violent misdemeanors?”
The three-bill package expands a list of crimes that currently bar gun ownership for three to five years to include more misdemeanors; and, for a misdemeanor involving domestic violence, the bills expand the length of time before a firearm purchase to eight years.
Individuals who violated the eight-year waiting period could be charged with a 5-year felony and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
State law currently bars possession of a firearm by anyone convicted of a felony but has three- to five-year waiting periods for those convicted of certain misdemeanors. But those restrictions aren’t kept in place in the case of most expungements.
Monday's signing of the bills comes after the Democratic-led House and Senate earlier this year passed bills implementing universal background check and registration for gun purchases; bills that would create a so-called red flag law to confiscate guns from those deemed a threat; and safe storage laws requiring the secure storage of firearms.
Whitmer signed those gun regulations into law in April.
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