Sixth Circuit asks for clarity in balancing Michigan and federal gun laws

A collection of firearms on display at the Colonial Shooting Academy in Richmond, Va., in 2019. (Brad Kutner/Courthouse News) CINCINNATI (CN) — An appeals court panel sent a gun owner’s challenge of federal firearm regulations back to a federal judge on Tuesday, urging both sides of the dispute to clarify their positions and shed light on relevant laws to determine whether Michigan concealed-carry license holders can skip background checks on new firearm purchases. The unsigned decision from a three-judge Sixth Circuit panel came just two weeks after the case was argued and provided no definitive resolution of the case. Donald Roberts and Gun Owners of America sued the federal government after Roberts attempted to buy a shotgun with his Michigan concealed-carry permit but was told by the gun store employee he would be required to submit to a federal background check. Roberts’ permit had, until recently, been qualified for an exemption under the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, a piece of legislation passed in 1993 designed to prevent convicted felons from buying guns. Michigan changed its laws in 2005 to require state and local law enforcement agencies to use the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, to ensure applicants were not barred from owning guns, which thus allowed its concealed-carry permits to qualify for an exemption under the Brady Act. Things changes in 2017, however, after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, determined Michigan’s officials were not keeping up their end of the […]

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