State Rep. Mark Tisdel last week voted for a plan to protect victims of domestic violence by keeping guns out of the hands of convicted abusers.
The legislation would prohibit a person convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor from using or possessing a firearm until eight years after the person has completed any jail or probation sentence and paid any fines for the offense. Tisdel, R-Rochester Hills, said the plan will help protect victims from future harm and rein in violent crime.
“Michigan women, children, and men who have suffered from domestic violence deserve to be safe in their homes and around their communities,” Tisdel said. “Past abusers are more likely to strike out again, and these recently convicted criminals shouldn’t have deadly access to guns. This legislation will prevent violent criminals from getting their hands on firearms to retaliate against their victims. I voted for this public safety plan to stand up for survivors and crack down on crime.”
A violation of the eight-year prohibition on firearm possession would be a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of $5,000.
Tisdel noted the bills protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners by requiring a criminal conviction before suspending a person’s access to guns.
Federal law already prohibits individuals convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence from possessing firearms in certain circumstances. However, the law is limited to specific criteria that fall within federal jurisdiction, and even when criminals do break the law, federal prosecutors often lack the bandwidth to pursue violations. Numerous other states, including states that traditionally vote Republican, such as Tennessee and Iowa, prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from possessing firearms.
Senate Bills 471 and 528 and House Bill 4945 passed the House with bipartisan support.