Advance Notice: Briefs

GOP bill to quash local gun buyback efforts passes state House

By: - March 4, 2020 5:55 pm

Open carry rally at the Michigan Capitol, Sept. 10, 2019 | C.J. Moore

Michigan’s GOP-led state House made quick work of new legislation to preemptively block local gun buyback efforts, securing a 58-49 vote on the bill during Wednesday’s legislative session.

House Bill 5479 had been introduced by state Rep. Annette Glenn (R-Midland) just last month. It passed out of the House Judiciary Committee without amendment on Tuesday before passing a full House vote on Wednesday.

If enacted, the legislation would make it illegal for local units of government to use taxpayer money to purchase firearms from individuals and organizations, which is commonly known as a gun buyback program. Australia’s national buyback program is a famously successful example of the initiative.

More specifically, HB 5479 would prohibit local governments to use “any public resource to implement, administer, or operate a program to purchase privately owned firearms, firearm parts, or ammunition from private individuals or organizations.” It stipulates that local units of government may only purchase firearms and the like for law enforcement purposes, and must acquire them from a licensed firearms dealer.

In a tweet Wednesday afternoon, state Rep. Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth) attached a picture of the voting board results and warned that the bill “strips away local control,” adding that he voted against the measure.

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Laina G. Stebbins
Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, Native issues and criminal justice for the Advance. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service.