The House Committee on Natural Resources approved on Wednesday state Rep. Beau LaFave’s proposal to expand the rights of gun owners to transport their firearm while on private property.
“This is a matter of personal liberty and property rights, and this important reform restores the lawful right of property owners to carry a gun on their own land in the manner they believe safe,” LaFave said. “This is a common-sense solution that does not impact public safety and protects gun owners from being unnecessarily prosecuted on their own land.”
Current law levies a fine of up to $500 or 90 days in jail for transporting or possessing a loaded firearm while riding a vehicle. LaFave’s plan would permit the transport and possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle, so long as the activity takes place on private property.
“The people of Michigan are entitled to their right to bear arms nowhere more especially than when they are on their own private property,” LaFave said. “The state should not be in the business of making lawful, responsible gun owners into criminals.”
LaFave shared with the committee that citizens are technically breaking the law if they are out on their own property hunting and catch a ride on a four-wheeler with their weapon, unless it is put away in a case.
“It just doesn’t make any sense, and it isn’t right,” LaFave said.
The proposal, HB 6525, next moves to the House floor for consideration. Earlier this year, the Legislature enacted a similar reform that would allow bows, crossbows, or slingshots to be transported without casing or unstringing.