LANSING, Mich., April 13, 2023 — Continuing their commitment to create safer communities, and on the heels of passing universal background check bills last month, the Michigan House of Representatives passed legislation today in support of instituting extreme risk protection orders.
House Bills 4145–4148 would allow courts to issue extreme risk protection orders, or ERPOs, for individuals deemed at risk of hurting themselves or others after the judge considers testimony, documents and other evidence in support of the request. Once an order is issued, law enforcement could then take temporary possession of the individual’s firearms and temporarily prohibit them from purchasing new firearms while the order remains in effect.
“Today’s legislation is proof that when we work together on meaningful, commonsense legislation that gives families and law enforcement the tools they need to act on early warning signs, we can create the safer Michigan that we all want and deserve, especially for our kids,” said state Rep. Kelly Breen (D-Novi), who sponsored HB 4146 and serves as chair of the House Judiciary Committee, which has taken testimony from several individuals in support of the bills.
As of 2021, 19 states and the District of Columbia have enacted some form of ERPO laws, which are supported by most Americans, including gun owners. If signed into law by the governor, Michigan would become the 20th state in the nation to enact ERPO legislation.
“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Personal safety is not a partisan issue, and I am tired of hearing gunshots disrupt the peace in my neighborhood,” said state Rep. Stephanie A. Young (D-Detroit), sponsor of HB 4148. “We have a responsibility to strengthen our laws and potentially save lives, and these bills give us another set of necessary tools to temporarily separate firearms from people at risk of harming themselves or others. I am grateful to see them advancing through the Legislature and commend my colleagues for their resolve in helping to create safer communities.”
“Simply having ERPO laws on the books will increase reporting of threatening behavior,” added state Rep. Julie Brixie (D-Meridian Township), sponsor of HB 4147. “Data from states that have enacted these laws show that they meaningfully assist in preventing mass shootings. We owe it to every Michigander, our students and everyone personally affected by gun violence, to make sure this legislation is signed into law.”
This legislation comes on the heels of recent passage of House Bills 4144 and 4139, which would require unattended firearms to be safely stored if accessible by a minor and update the sentencing guidelines, respectively. House Bills 4141 and 4140 would remove both sales and use taxes from firearm safety device purchases such as safes, lock boxes, and trigger and barrel locks through the end of 2024.