State background checks for handguns could be eliminated - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

State background checks for handguns could be eliminated

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(12/03/12) - Flint Mayor Dayne Walling is trying stop gun legislation that would eliminate state background checks for handguns.

The legislation applies to individuals who buy from private sellers or unlicensed dealers. A press conference was held in Lansing Monday, as a sign of support against the measure.

Walling is part of the mayors against illegal guns coalition. They're standing firm opposing House Bill 5225. "We know there's too much violence in the city of Flint, and across the state, 500 lives are lost to violence every year and this bill would make it easy with criminal records, with criminal intent to get a hold of guns illegally."

The bill would also eliminate the Michigan State Police pistol registry. That keeps track of a handguns make, model and caliber.

MSP and other law enforcement agencies around the state have joined several mayors and other concerned citizen groups opposing this legislation.

They say by eliminating the state's license to purchase permit system, it could make it easier for criminals to get their hands on a pistol.

The state background checks cover gun show sales and if a person decides to buy from a private individual.

Under the bill, that regulation would not exist. Michigan State Police say almost half of Michigan's handgun sales come from private sellers.

We also talked to Williams Gun Sight Company in Davison about how eliminating the state background check would make it easier for those who are legally purchasing a handgun.

"In the way of the consumer, it would eliminate them having to go to their local sheriff's department or police twice, once to pick up the purchase permit, come to the store, purchase the firearm then go back to the same local police department to turn in the purchase permit. It's not going to make it any easier for a criminal to come in and purchase a hand gun because there still has to be background checks done," said store manager Cary Morin.

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