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House adopts bills to relax air guns rules


The state House has adopted legislation that would exempt air-, spring-, and gas-powered guns from Michigan firearms laws.

The legislation is backed by the NRA. Supporters says Michigan’s rules are stricter and out of step with most other states and the federal government.

State Representative Tristan Cole, R-Mancelona, says it’s “common sense” that Michigan should change its rules to match other jurisdictions.

“This broad definition means otherwise law-abiding Michigan citizens unwittingly violate state laws regarding the purchase, possession, and transportation if firearms,” he said. 

This would, among other things, also make it easier to mail order air guns.

State Representative Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, voted “no.” He says people who use an air gun to commit a robbery or an assault deserve to face firearms charges.

“What we’re doing here is, we’re taking tools away from our local prosecutors to hold violent criminals accountable,” he said.

The bills now go to the state Senate. Similar bills were vetoed last year by Governor Rick Snyder over technical issues. He’s expected to sign these bills once they reach his desk.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.