State Graham Filler continues to stand up for law-abiding gun owners and hunters who will face new, unnecessary hurdles if a plan being rushed through the Legislature becomes law in Michigan.
Filler, of Clinton County, this week voted to protect Second Amendment freedoms and the right to privacy from increased government surveillance by voting against House Bills 4138, 4142 and 4143. The legislation requires universal background checks for firearm transfers and establishes new licensing requirements for hunting rifles and shotguns.
“Law-abiding gun owners are going to be heavily impacted by the unintended consequences of these broad new rules, while violent criminals continue to disregard them,” Filler said. “Sales between family members will become much more difficult, as will other private purchases in rural communities located far from commercial firearms dealers. Additionally, law enforcement officers will have added responsibilities as they navigate how to handle the overly broad and difficult-to-enforce requirements.”
Filler also expressed concerns about the chilling effect the legislation could have on hunters throughout the state, as sales of long guns, including hunting rifles, are more heavily scrutinized than ever before. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reported last year that the state has lost a quarter of a million hunters over the past generation.
“The government should not have to be involved when a grandfather wants to sell his granddaughter her first hunting rifle,” Filler said. “But in that scenario, this legislation would require them to visit a licensed firearms dealer, submit invasive paperwork, put the young girl through a federal criminal background check, and pay a fee to the government.”
Despite Filler’s opposition, Democrats in the House approved the bills with a 56-53, party-line vote. The plan now moves to the Senate for consideration.
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