On Monday (May 22), Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed “red flag” legislation aimed at keeping guns away from people who are at risk of harming themselves or others.
The Democratic governor’s decision to sign a bill allowing certain people to ask a judge to remove weapons from those considered dangerous comes as some local sheriffs have threatened not to comply.
Michigan’s Attorney General Dana Nessel confronted those sheriffs at the signing, saying that she would “find someone with jurisdiction who will enforce these orders” should those in law enforcement refuse to enforce the regulations.
The new law is expected to go into effect in the spring and will allow family members, roommates, police, mental health professionals, and former dating partners to submit requests.
Judges then have 24 hours after the request is made to rule on the protection order, and if granted, a hearing will be scheduled where the flagged person can prove they do not pose a serious risk.
Michigan’s Democratic lawmakers said after Whitmer’s signing that the red-flag restrictions were just the beginning of their proposed gun reforms.
The state’s Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II hinted at the legislation being the “floor for the types of intervention that we can do.”
Monday’s signing makes Michigan the 21st state to implement a red flag law, joining the likes of California, Florida, Nevada, Virginia, Illinois, and New York.
Last week, Minnesota also passed a red flag law.
Gabby Gifford, a former Democratic Congresswoman from Arizona and the victim of gun violence who was shot in the head in 2011 and suffered a traumatic brain injury attended Minnesota’s signing event.
Flanked by fellow Democrat and Minnesota Governor Tim Walkz, Gifford’s declared it “takes courage” to end gun violence; she added that it was time for Independents, Democrats, and Republicans to “come together” on gun reform.