Local attorney gives insight on ‘red flag’ bill passed by Senate
LANSING, Mich. (WNEM) - The extreme risk protection order legislation is now on its way to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk to be signed into law.
“This is something that is a law that is rationally based to serve a legitimate purpose to protect people,” criminal defense attorney Nicholas Robinson said.
On Wednesday, April 19, the state Senate passed the legislation best known as “red flag laws” along party lines, one week after the House did the same.
“If an individual can show a court by a preponderance of the evidence, or a probably that a person can reasonably be expected in the near future to seriously injure themselves or someone else, they can go to a court and tell that court that that person should not have a firearm,” Robinson said.
The law will give courts the ability to temporarily remove guns from certain individuals that family members and law enforcement believe pose a danger to themselves or others. But contrary to what some may think, Robinson said this does not mean courts will automatically take people’s guns away from them.
“What the court is going to want to hear, they’re going to want to hear about this person’s background,” Robinson said. “They’re going to want to know their risk level. They’re going to want to know about any past threats that person has made. They’re going to want to know about a person’s substance abuse issues, their mental illness, their past criminal history.”
Last week, Whitmer signed into law two other pieces of legislation to help decrease gun violence in Michigan.
Those pieces included legislation to expand background checks for all firearms purchases and safe storage penalties to prevent guns from getting into the hands of children.
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