11 New Ways to Lose Your Gun Rights in Michigan

In February of 2024, Michigan’s felon in possession of a firearm or ammunition criminal statute was expanded to include misdemeanors of domestic violence, not to be confused with the actual offense called Domestic Violence, MCL 750.81(2). This change in the laws has created 11 new ways to lose your gun rights in Michigan. The Michigan legislature has created a new group or class of crimes collectively referred to as “domestic violence.”  

A conviction for the following offenses will cause a defendant to lose their gun rights in Michigan:  

750.81(2)  Domestic violence 93-day maximum jail sentence.  

750.81(4) Domestic violence 2nd offense, 1-year maximum jail sentence

750.81a(2)  Domestic violence aggravated injury 1year maximum jail sentence

750.115(2)  Entering a building without permission, domestic relationship, 90-day misdemeanor. 

750.145n(5)  Vulnerable adult abuse 4th degree, domestic relationship 1-year maximum jail sentence

750.377a(1)(d)  MDOP personal property domestic relationship 1-year maximum jail sentence

750.377a(1)(f) MDOP personal property domestic relationship, 93-day maximum jail sentence

750.380(5)  MDOP buildings, domestic relationship, 93-day maximum jail sentence

750.380(7) MDOP buildings, domestic relationship, second subsequent

750.411h(2) Stalking, 1 year or 5 year, domestic relationship

750.540e(1)(h)  Malicious use of telecommunications device, domestic relationship

In a nutshell, the Michigan Legislature has expanded what was typically known as domestic violence.  Domestic violence implies physical contact or threatening harm to the victim.  That is no longer true in Michigan.  750.540e(1)(h) Malicious use of telecommunication devices prohibits the following through the use of a cellphone:  (a) Threatening physical harm or damage to any person or property in the course of a conversation or message through the use of a telecommunications service or device. (b) Falsely and deliberately reporting by message through the use of a telecommunications service or device that a person has been injured, has suddenly taken ill, has suffered death, or has been the victim of a crime or an accident.  (c) Deliberately refusing or failing to disengage a connection between a telecommunications device and another telecommunications device or between a telecommunications device and other equipment provided for the transmission of messages through the use of a telecommunications service or device. (d) Using vulgar, indecent, obscene, or offensive language or suggesting any lewd or lascivious act in the course of a conversation or message through the use of a telecommunications service or device. (e) Repeatedly initiating a telephone call and, without speaking, deliberately hanging up or breaking the telephone connection as or after the telephone call is answered.(f) Making an unsolicited commercial telephone call that is received between the hours of 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. As used in this subdivision, “an unsolicited commercial telephone call” means a call made by a person or recording device, on behalf of a person, corporation, or other entity, soliciting business or contributions. (g) Deliberately engaging or causing to engage the use of a telecommunications service or device of another person in a repetitive manner that causes an interruption in telecommunications service or prevents the person from utilizing the person’s telecommunications service or device. (h) Engaging in any of the conduct prohibited under subdivisions (a) to (g) if the person and the other person are spouses or former spouses, have or have had a dating relationship, have or have had a child in common, or are residents or former residents of the same household. As used in this subdivision, “dating relationship” means frequent, intimate associations primarily characterized by the expectation of affectional involvement. This term does not include a casual relationship or an ordinary fraternization between 2 individuals in a business or social context.

It is now possible to lose your gun rights in Michigan if one uses vulgar, indecent, or obscene language in a text message.  A far cry from threatening violence or actual physical activity against a loved one.  

An interpretation of the new group of “domestic violence” crimes leads to the conclusion that a romantic couple needs to be very careful when they either argue or split up. MCL 750.115(2)  “Entering a building without permission” prevents a person from a person from entering a residence to retrieve clothing or property after a breakup.  Using indecent language to your former significant other may lead to a Malicious use of a telecommunication device charge and conviction.  Destroying or throwing out of your ex’s property could lead to a “Malicious Destruction of Personal Property” charge and conviction, MCL 750.377a(1)(d). 

Noteworthy, there is a Federal criminal statute that prohibits felons from possessing a firearm.  18 USC 922 (g) prevents a person convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence from possession of a firearm.  However, Federal law does not extend “domestic violence” into the realm of misdemeanor-level indecent or lewd language, destruction of personal property, or entry into residences without permission.  As far as misdemeanors go, Michigan is far more expansive, or far more intrusive into the 2nd Amendment, compared to the Federal Government.   

The only saving grace to combat this assault upon the 2nd Amendment and our God-given right to defend ourselves is the county prosecutor.  Each county prosecutor will have to authorize these charges under the “domestic relationship” classification.  I still believe that most county prosecutors are level-headed and will make appropriate decisions related to a Michigan citizen’s 2nd Amendment rights.  However, there are always elected zealots who are eager to cause you to lose your gun rights in Michigan.   

Once a person has a conviction within the domestic violence category, MCL 750.224f permits the same person to be prosecuted for a 5-year felony if found in possession of a firearm or ammunition.  This firearm disability, the ability to be prosecuted under MCL 750.224f, lasts for 8 years following the termination of the defendant’s probation or parole.  After the expiration of the 8-year prohibition period, a Michigan citizen may possess a firearm again, so long as there isn’t a similar federal firearm disability in place.  

To learn more visit my firearm restoration blog.

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