LANSING, Mich., June 23, 2022 — State Rep. Kara Hope (D-Holt) unveiled a package of legislation today aiming to enhance gun store security, crack down on illegal gun sales and prevent the loss of lethal weapons.
“Lax gun store oversight is leading to increased gun trafficking,” Hope said. “Gun stores are rarely inspected, and violations are rarely prosecuted. We need stronger regulations to stop the flow of illegal guns into our communities.”
Gun dealers represent a major source of illegally trafficked firearms. One report by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) analyzed 1,530 trafficking investigations conducted between July 1996 and December 1998 and found that dealers and pawnbrokers were associated with over 40,000 trafficked guns. Between 2004 and 2011, federal firearm licensees reported 174,679 firearms missing from their inventories.
Gun stores are rarely inspected. Although the law allows for one unannounced inspection a year, it’s not uncommon for gun stores to be inspected only once a decade due to the underfunding of the ATF.
In 2019, only 52% of inspected federal firearm licensees were found to be in compliance with federal gun laws. Violations are rarely charged due to the high burden of proof such cases require and the fact that violations are typically charged as misdemeanors.
Bills in the package would:
- House Bill 6272 – Require lost or stolen firearms to be reported within 48 hours. (Rep. Kara Hope)
- House Bill 6273 – Increase security measures for gun stores. (Rep. Sarah Anthony)
- House Bill 6274 – Require employee background checks. (Rep. Rachel Hood)
- House Bill 6275 – Impose gun dealer liability and require liability insurance. (Rep. Brenda Carter)