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Public Safety

Proposed legislation would ban some convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence from owning firearms

Handguns are displayed on a vendor's table at a gun show in Albany, N.Y., on Jan. 26, 2013.
Handguns are displayed on a vendor's table at a gun show in Albany, N.Y., on Jan. 26, 2013.

A bipartisan group of Michigan lawmakers is proposing people convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge be banned from possessing firearms for eight years.

The sponsors say Senate Bills 678 and 679 and House Bills 5371 and 5372 would bring Michigan law into partial alignment with current federal protections.

State Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) says dozens of other states have enacted similar restrictions to protect women and families.

“We know we can save lives,” says Chang. “We know this is a bi-partisan issue. We know that we’ve seen deeply red states passed these laws. So it’s time for Michigan to step up to the plate and pass these laws as well.”

Chang insists this isn’t a "gun control" issue, but rather a public-safety issue.

The sponsors of the bills say the change would give local and state prosecutors the ability to enforce existing federal protections.