Michigan House Republicans
Vote Explanations – Week of April 10
RELEASE|April 14, 2023
Contact: Pat Outman

House Bills 4145-4148 and Senate Bill 83

Proposed Red Flag Laws

These bills create the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, commonly referred to as a “red flag” order, that provides a method by which a court can order the seizure of someone’s firearms without notice, even when that person has not committed a crime. These bills also do not give individuals an opportunity to refute such accusations.

Before I get into why I voted against these bills, I want to make it clear that I take the issue of gun violence very seriously. I want to take reasonable and practical steps to get guns out of the hands of criminals, and it is my commitment to do so – but the must be the right policies. We also have to better enforce the laws already on the books and end the soft-on-crime policies that are sweeping our nation’s major cities. 

Why I voted no:

  1. My office has heard from thousands of constituents urging me to vote no on these bills. They understand that this legislation is a clear violation of multiple constitutional rights.
  2. If these bills become law, someone can have their firearms stripped away from them without any due process. The burden of proof is extremely low on these bills, and the hearing process needs to be more fair and balanced. It doesn’t even provide the right to an attorney for those who cannot afford one.
  3. The burden of proof to initiate the process is probable cause- one of the lowest burdens of proof in our legal system, and many states have had their red flag laws struck down in court that have a probable cause standard. In fact, since the passage of these and other bills, the state of Michigan is already being sued in federal court.
  4. This legislation could also put our law enforcement officials in extremely dangerous situations and expose them to legal liability for committing searches and seizures without a warrant.
  5. We already have an involuntary commitment law in place for those who are dangerous to society and can be utilized currently. Let’s strengthen and expand that process in a constitutional way that can get weapons out of the hands of folks that are a danger and get them the help that is needed.

Again, I want to end this update by restating my commitment to ending gun violence. Unfortunately, the red flag laws that passed the House of Representatives this week are not the answer and will lead to many problems. Our job as a Legislature is to pass legislation deliberately and listen to experts from all sides of an issue. Sadly, this legislation falls way short of that. We can do better, and we must do better.

Michigan House Republicans

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