Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Detroit Busts State Firearms Preemption

Detroit Just passed a Gun Control Ordinance.

The Detroit Free Press: Convicted of domestic violence and living in Detroit? You could lose your gun.

Of course it's all for the purported noble reason of taking guns from domestic abusers.

The problems with it are multi-fold:

First under Federal law, the Lautenberg Amendment, people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence already can't possess firearms so the law is duplicative.

Next,  it likely would not have prevented the death of the female police Sargent killed by her domestic partner. After all, it's not like he respected the Federal prohibition and it didn't stop him, so it's highly unlikely a city ordinance will do much more.  

After all it's not like he has to fear much from the Detroit area justice system.  After all, after killing her he was then let out on  bond.  If a Wayne County judge won't keep a suspect of the murder of a police officer in jail, does anyone expect a judge will do much with someone convicted of a misdemeanor dv found with a firearm violating the ordinance?

More problematic is what you and I may think of domestic violence - namely a spouse / significant other / dating partner beating another spouse / significant other / dating partner is only a fraction of what gets defined as domestic violence under the law.

I've seen domestic violence convictions when brothers get involved in a scrap outside the home and the police get called.  Since they live in the same home, yep the assault conviction becomes a conviction for misdemeanor domestic violence. 

I've also seen charges brought claiming domestic violence for issues that really didn't quite fit what the average person thinks would be domestic violence.  including prosecutions of a spouse who confiscated illegal drugs from his spouse and flushing them down the toilet to stop her form using them - she called the police to complain, and since there was physical contact when the drugs were grabbed, he got charged with domestic violence.  Yep, no kidding.

Next and also rather problematic the ordinance violates Michigan's state level preemption on local units of government passing firearms laws.  Under MCL 123.1102:

A local unit of government shall not impose special taxation on, enact or enforce any ordinance or regulation pertaining to, or regulate in any other manner the ownership, registration, purchase, sale, transfer, transportation, or possession of pistols, other firearms, or pneumatic guns, ammunition for pistols or other firearms, or components of pistols or other firearms, except as otherwise provided by federal law or a law of this state.

 Pretty straightforward that it's preempted by state law and  should be overturned on that basis alone. 

While no one wants actual domestic abusers to possesses firearms and be able to attack their domestic others, the ordinance is a foot in the door for further game playing by the City of Detroit in the firearm arena and needs to be opposed for that reason.

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