Friday, September 02, 2011

The Sound Of Silencers Can Now Return To Michigan

Michigan's firearms laws are oftentimes weird, and the history of how they became so is often quite convoluted.

One of the interesting twists is that up until Former Attorney General Frank Kelley issued an Attorney General opinion in 1977, silencers, machineguns and short barrel rifles could be owned in Michigan by civillians as long as the proper ATF forms were filled out, taxes paid and approval given.

Mr. Kelley, being a Democrat, didn't like that and his opinion became binding law in Michigan.

Michigan law states that "if the person is licensed or approved to possess, manufacture, or sell such a device by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives," and Mr. Kelley's AG Opinion interpreted that to mean because the ATF form of approval, complete with background check and law enforcement sign-off was an approval of a tax form, it was not a license as such and thus civillians couldn't own them as an ATF "license" as such did not exist.

Former Attorney General Mike Cox, a few short years back in 2005 wrote an opinion that machineguns could again be legal for Michigan civillians to own as the ATF form and process was in fact meeting the status of "license" under Michgian law. Pretty reasonable, after all, if it looks like a license, requires paperwork and fingerprints like a license, and you get a form back permitting ownership, then heck, it is a license regardless of what you otherwise call it.

Now the current Michigan AG, Bill Schuette, has, following the same good reasoning and reading comprehension exhibited by Mr. Cox, ruled that silencers can now again be owned by Michigan civillians. So, many thanks to Attorney General Schuette for a well-reasoned opinion.

Now if someone could just ask him about SBRs we'll be right back to where we were prior to 1977.


Scott said...

Ooh! Very cool!

Murphy's Law said...

Nobody needs suppressors...or machine guns.

Heck, nobody should have any guns. That's why I vote for Democrats.

Aaron said...

ok, so I guess that means you'll be transferring to me (I'll even pay the transfer tax) your M-60 and other goodies forthwith eh?

Rugrash said...

It has nothing to do with one's "NEEDS". Would you say the same thing about cars? Nobody "NEEDS" a Corvette with 300+ horsepower that can potentially drive over 130mph, but people buy them because they "WANT" them and they're legal to own. I like the idea of my home defense pistol with a suppressor. I own five suppressors and love shooting with them. Go Michigan!!

Aaron said...


Murphy's Law is just yanking our chain.

Either that or he's gotten into the Boone's Farm yet again....

Worry not. ML has got more firearms goodies than I do and is as, if not more, supportive of our firearm ownership rights than the most hard core NRA members. His pro-gun record is beyond reproach.

PT said...

SBR SBS is not allowed (unless original C&R) by a separate statute. We can only reverse that via legislative action.

Anonymous said...

We are as we know it is over...the blood will run in the streets like rain water...give me your money

Murphy's Law said...

Darn it, Aaron--I could have had some fun with your readers.