Senate committee approves Pavlov bill establishing Michigan Firearms Freedom Act

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Sen. Phil Pavlov

Sen. Phil Pavlov

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday passed legislation that would strengthen Michigan residents’ constitutional right to keep and bear arms, said Sen. Phil Pavlov, the sponsor of the bill.

Senate Bill 15 would establish the Michigan Firearms Freedom Act to say that any firearms and firearm accessories manufactured and exclusively sold in Michigan and carrying the brand “Made in Michigan” would be subject only to state law and not to federal law.

“An overreaching federal government has been trying to chip away at Americans’ Second Amendment rights for years,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “My measure puts protections in place for Michigan residents and gun manufacturers to ensure that their right to bear arms will not be violated.”

The bill specifies that Michigan, like all states, retains under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution the right to control purely interstate activities for products that are made in Michigan and remain in Michigan without being sold out-of-state. The principle is that there are powers reserved to the states that allow them to essentially “nullify” or not follow federal laws under such circumstances.

A number of states have passed similar laws since 2009, and several more have seen similar legislation introduced in recent years.

Steven Dulan, an attorney and spokesman for the Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners, spoke in support of Pavlov’s bill.

“The Michigan Firearms Freedom Act is about more than just guns; it is about the rights of Michigan residents,” Dulan said. “But it is also an important assertion of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution that were meant to limit the federal government and protect the sovereignty of the states. This is a significant assertion of Michigan’s authority versus an out-of-control federal bureaucracy.”

SB 15 now heads to the full Senate for further consideration.