Legislation sponsored by U.P. state Reps. Beau LaFave and Greg Markkanen protecting Michiganders’ private property rights from government overreach was advanced on Tuesday in bipartisan fashion by the House Military, Veterans and Homeland Security Committee.
The measure, House Bill 4331, allows individuals to transport uncased, loaded long-barreled firearms on private land using any kind of vehicle. The same freedoms are already permitted for pistols, crossbows and slingshots.
Any person transporting a loaded long-barreled firearm under current Michigan law could be imprisoned up to 90 days and fined up to $500. The new plan removes this violation and protects law-abiding citizens from unreasonable prosecution.
“This legislation makes clear that private property rights should not be trampled on,” said LaFave, of Iron Mountain, who chairs the committee. “It gets government out of the way and brings uniformity to pistol- and long-barreled firearm regulations.”
“This is good criminal justice reform,” said Markkanen, of Hancock, who also serves on the committee. “As this bill continues along the legislative process, we continue to come closer to making sure those transporting their own firearms on their own private property are not subject to excessive punishments such as jail time. The law is not practical the way it is currently written. It’s a loophole that can harshly impact citizens.”
LaFave explained when testifying in support of the legislation that the change would be beneficial to responsible, law-abiding citizens – notably farmers looking to better protect their livestock and hunters with disabilities.
HB 4331 advances to the House Judiciary Committee, where LaFave serves as vice-chair.
The committee also voted in unanimous fashion to advance HB 4334, sponsored by Rep. Matt Hall of Emmett Township, which reduces a CPL license expiration offense from a felony to a civil infraction.
PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Beau LaFave offers testimony on HB 4331 before the House Military, Veterans and Homeland Security Committee on April 30.