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'Red flag,' other new gun laws take effect soon in Michigan

 A view into the rotunda of the Michigan Capitol in Lansing.
Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
A view into the rotunda of the Michigan Capitol in Lansing. (Photo: Lester Graham/Michigan Radio)
• Michigan's "red flag" law allows police, with a judge's order, to temporarily seize guns from a person deemed a threat to themselves or others.

• A new "safe storage" law also taking effect will require that guns be safely stored and locked up in homes with children.

• Universal background checks are also required under the new law, for gun purchases.

Courts and law enforcement in Michigan are getting ready for Michigan’s new “red flag” gun law as well as other firearm safety measures that take effect next week.

The “red flag” law is one of a passel of new firearm safety laws about to become enforceable. That also includes a law that requires guns to be safely stored and locked when not in use in homes with children and universal background checks for gun purchases.

The “red flag” law will allow a judge to approve an order to allow law enforcement to temporarily seize guns from a person deemed a threat to themself or others.

There are questions about how the new law will be enforced.

But State Court Administrator Thomas Boyd told the Michigan Public Radio Network that courts and police won’t be starting from scratch.

“The process is very similar to a personal protection order, which has been available for 30 years, and so we really think this is going to roll out in a very similar way,” he said.

The people who can ask for an order include “a spouse, a former spouse, an individual with whom a person has a child in common, there’s a dating relationship, they share the same household, they’re members of the family,” he said. “It also, very importantly, includes law enforcement and health care providers and people who may be in the best position to see when someone is at a crisis.”

Boyd said Michigan also looked to the experience of 20 other states that have “red flag “ laws to develop its rules.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.