Michigan’s Automatic Expungement Equals Total Chaos
Michigan’s Clean Slate has been fully implemented, including the automatic expungement. MCL 780.621(g). Automatic Expungement means that criminal convictions found on a person’s criminal history will fall off or disappear after a set amount of time passes. The process is handled entirely through the Michigan State Police and does not require court involvement. Initially, it appeared that the automatic expungement of a felony conviction in Michigan would remove the federal firearm disability from 18 USC 922(g). However, news reports began to appear about how the FBI would not honor Michigan’s new automatic expungement. FBI won’t recognize some of Michigan’s new expungements for gun background checks, The Detriot News, Beth LeBlanc, April 26th, 2023. Specifically, the FBI would not remove the conviction from the NICS database without a court order or a request from the state. The Attorney General announced that her office would not seek orders as required by the FBI’s ruling. The net result is chaos in Michigan. Multiple people have spoken to me regarding how they purchased firearms after their felony conviction was expunged via automatic expungement, through an FFL, only to be denied for a subsequent firearm purchase. In a nutshell, “Last week I could purchase and possess a firearm, this week I can not.” Needless to say, all who have gone through this chaos are understandably upset. They are now in jeopardy of a federal firearms possession charge. For those Michigan citizens who have been caught up in this chaos, if you find yourself charged with a federal firearms crime, remember this defense, “entrapment by estoppel.” Insist that your attorney research this defense and use it.
Using Automatic Expungement As A Weapon
Automatic expungement has now become a weapon against the 2nd Amendment. There is no language found in MCL 780.621 that would lead someone to believe that an automatic expungement would be anything but an expungement the same as an expungement by application. Every month, more felony convictions are being automatically expunged and people believe that they may purchase and possess a firearm. Only to find out after the fact that they may not exercise their 2nd Amendment rights. There is no language, statute, or procedure, found in MCL 780.621 to secure a court order after an automatic expungement. Is this what our politicians intended? The legislature has created a mechanism that permanently deprives Michigan citizens of their constitutional rights. It is stealthy, it happens without the citizen’s knowledge. There is no notice to a person about to be exiled into a permanent federal firearm disability. The conclusion after an automatic expungement, that being, a clean criminal history, capable of advancing someone’s employment, improving housing, improving job opportunities, and social stature but preserving a firearm disability sounds like the perfect solution for a gun control-minded politician.
Avoid The Chaos Act Now
To the reader, don’t squander your ability to remove a federal firearms disability created by a felony conviction by sitting on your thumbs and waiting for automatic expungement to remove your conviction. The waiting periods after a conviction for expungement by application and expungement by automatic expungement are different. There is a small time window where a person qualifies for an expungement by an application before automatic expungement does its dirty work. If you value your 2nd Amendment rights, calculate when you are eligible to remove a conviction by application and file the application.