Michigan Safe Storage of Firearms Around Minors Law

If you face charges for violating Michigan’s Safe Storage of Firearms Law, you need a top-tier defense attorney to help you avoid a conviction and jail. Your best defense starts here!

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Firearms Must Be Stored to Protect Minors

Michigan law requires guns to be secured when minors are around or might have access. The safe storage of firearms law carries harsh penalties and should be taken seriously and defended aggressively. Under Michigan’s Safe Storage Firearms law, an individual who stores or leaves a firearm unattended on premises under the individual’s control and who knows or reasonably should know that a “minor” is, or is likely to be, present on the premises shall:

  • store the firearm in a “locked box or container” and/or
  • keep the firearm unloaded and locked with a “locking device” that is properly engaged and renders it inoperable.

A minor is anyone under 18 years old. A “locking device” is a trigger lock, cable lock, or similar lock that prevents a firearm from discharging.

Firearms Near Another Person’s Children

Under the Safe Storage of Firearms Law, not just the parent or guardian of a minor is subject to prosecution and penalties. If someone brings a firearm to a place where they know or should know a minor might be, they must secure the firearm in the manner the law outlines. The requirement on third parties includes firearms in their vehicle if it is near children. A firearm in a vehicle must be locked in a box or container and secured with a “locking device” and lock the vehicle.

Penalties for “Safe Storage of Firearms” Violations

Michigan’s new Safe Storage of Firearms law creates several new felony and misdemeanor crimes. Some of them include the following:

  • Minor exhibits or possess the firearm in a public place or exhibits or possess the gun in the presence of another person in a careless, reckless, or threatening manner – 93-day misdemeanor. 
  • Minor discharges the firearm inflicting injury – 5-year felony. 
  • Minor discharges the firearm inflicting a severe or serious impairment of a bodily function – 10-year felony. 
  • Minor discharges the firearm causing death – 15-year felony.

In addition to possible incarceration, a conviction will result in years of probation, mandatory drug and alcohol testing, therapy, travel restrictions, and a prohibition on firearm possession or ownership. A felony can result in a lifetime ban on firearm use. The best defense to firearms-related criminal charges is a skilled, experienced lawyer, such as the top criminal defense attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., who will do whatever it takes to protect and defend you.

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Exceptions to the Law

The safe storage law does not apply to a minor who obtains a firearm with permission of their parent or guardian, uses a gun under the supervision of their parent or guardian, or uses a firearm for employment purposes. It also doesn’t apply to minors who, with permission of a parent or guardian, hunt with a firearm. Additionally, the Safe Storage of Firearms Law and the associated penalties do not apply to a minor who uses a firearm in lawful self-defense of themselves or others.

If a minor is involved in a firearm-related crime, law enforcement will investigate and decide whether to charge the child’s parent or guardian with a safe storage of firearms crime. The early and proactive intervention of a skilled and influential precharge criminal defense lawyer can prevent charges before they are filed. If charges are unavoidable, an attorney can negotiate to prevent an arrest and pretrial detention pending trial. The attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have represented hundreds of clients on a precharge basis and frequently negotiate successfully to avoid charges and prevent the arrest of their clients. The worst thing you can do is wait to see what happens or trust the police to do the “right” thing. Law enforcement is not on your side, and the political pressure to charge parents and guardians has never been higher in Michigan. Michigan’s storage of firearms laws and penalties are designed and intended to result in as many charges as possible to send a message to the community to store firearms appropriately.

Federally Licensed Firearms Dealers and the Safe Storage Law

The Firearms Act requires federally licensed firearms (FFL) dealers to include a trigger lock or securable gun case and information about Michigan’s Safe Storage of Firearms statute requirements to anyone purchasing a firearm. This requirement doesn’t apply to sales of firearms to law enforcement officers, someone who supplies their own trigger lock or gun case, the sale of an antique firearm, or if the seller or transferor is not an FFL dealer. Every sale by an FFL dealer must include the following free of charge (and the customer must sign an acknowledgment of receipt):

  • a brochure or pamphlet that includes safety information about the storage of firearms in a home,
  • a written warning informing the purchaser of the Firearm Storage Requirements and Penalties for failing to comply with “safe storage” requirements, and
  • lethal means counseling literature published by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Service (MDHHS)

If the FFL dealer fails to comply with the law, a first violation is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail. A second offense is a one-year misdemeanor. A third offense is a felony punishable by up to two (2) years in prison and up to five (5) years of court-supervised probation.

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Safe Storage of Firearms Around Minors Defense Attorney

Michigan’s Safe Storage of Firearms Law represents a significant step towards enhancing the safety of minors by mandating secure storage practices for firearms in homes and automobiles. As this law unfolds, gun owners need to understand the legal obligations and penalties it imposes to avoid potential criminal liability. At LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., we are committed to ensuring that you are fully informed about how these changes affect you and are prepared to provide the highest level of defense should you face charges related to this new legislation. Our unique team approach, combining the expertise of highly respected lawyers, paralegals, experts, and investigators, ensures unparalleled success in defending our clients. If you have questions or need legal assistance regarding the Safe Storage of Firearms Law or any other criminal defense matter, our team is prompt, responsive, and ready to fight for the extraordinary results you deserve. Call our experienced firearms crimes defense attorneys today for a free consultation and confidential case evaluation.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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