Wittenberg Bill Would Require Reporting of Failed Firearm Background Checks

Proposal would give law enforcement tools to enforce existing gun safety laws
Wednesday, May 11, 2016

LANSING — State Representative Robert Wittenberg (D-Oak Park) has introduced a bill with bipartisan support that would require firearm dealers to report failed firearm background checks to local, state and federal authorities. Sellers are not currently required to report when a would-be buyer fails a background check, but mandating that they do would help law enforcement apprehend people who may have broken the law by attempting to purchase a weapon.

“This bill is about enforcing the laws that already exist – plain and simple,” Rep. Wittenberg said. “My proposal doesn’t create new restrictions or make it any more difficult for someone to legally buy a firearm. It would simply enforce existing laws, which is exactly what we all agree should be done to stop gun violence.”

 Under Rep. Wittenberg’s proposal, sellers who are required to perform background checks before firearm sales would be required to notify law enforcement authorities, prosecuting attorneys and probation officers, if appropriate, when someone fails a background check. The bill would also require the Michigan State Police to produce an annual report outlining how many times buyers failed background checks, why they failed and the number of times those failures resulted in prosecution.

“This proposal is about giving the law enforcement community the tools they need to apprehend individuals who are unlawfully trying to buy a gun,” Rep. Wittenberg said. “Our police officers, prosecuting attorneys and probation officers must have accurate and timely information to help prevent the next crime from happening and to keep our families and communities safe.”