Fact is former AG Frank Kelly's opinion 5210 which is now null and void and superceded by AG Cox's opinion 7183 was the opinion that caused us the 29 years of oppression and stopped us from excercising our right to own pre-86 mgs and silencers.
Opinion No. 5210
August 10, 1977
Possession of an automatic weapon.
It is illegal for a person to possess an automatic weapon or a weapon equipped with a silencer.
Honorable Joyce Symons
Lansing, Michigan 48901
You have requested an opinion concerning the laws dealing with automatic weapons and silencers. In particular, you have requested my opinion as to licensure for the acquisition and possession of an automatic weapon by a private citizen in Michigan assuming that all federal requirements have been met.
The relevant statute is the Michigan Penal Code, 1931 PA 328, Ch XXXVII, Sec. 14; MCLA 750.224; MSA 28.421, which provides:
'Any person who shall manufacture, sell, offer for sale or possess any machine gun or firearm which shoots or is designed to shoot automatically more than 1 shot without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger, or any muffler, silencer or device for deadening or muffling the sound of a discharged firearm, . . . shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years or by a fine of not more than $2,500.00.
'The provisions of this section shall not apply . . . to any person duly licensed to manufacture, sell, or possess any machine gun . . . or contrivance above mentioned.' [Emphasis added]
Thus, Michigan law does not permit a person to possess an automatic weapon or a weapon equipped with a silencer unless the person in possession is duly licensed.
There is, however, no provision under Michigan law for the licensing of such devices. (1)
The legislature last amended 1931 PA 328, Ch XXXVII, Sec. 24, supra, by 1959 PA 175. It did so by enacting House Bill No. 423, 2 House Journal 1959, p 28-29, but did not enact a companion bill, House Bill No 424 providing for the issuance of permits for ownership and possession of machine guns. The bill was not approved by the legislature. 1 House Journal 1959, pp 1327-1328.
Thus, the legislature, in rejecting a bill providing for licensure for the ownership and possession of a machine gun, must have intended that there be no provision in Michigan law for the acquisition and possession of an automatic weapon by a private citizen.
It is therefore my opinion that the legislature has not provided for the issuance of permits for acquisition or possession of a machine gun or a weapon equipped with a silencer by a private individual.
Frank J. Kelley
(1) It should also be noted that careful research has failed to reveal that there is a federal statute providing for issuance of a license to possess a machine gun. The National Firearms Act amendments of 1968, 82 Stat 1229 (1968); 26 USC 5841, provides that the Secretary of Treasury or his delegate shall maintain a central registry of firearms not in the possession or under the control of the United States and 82 Stat 1234 (1968); 26 USC 5861, further provides that it is unlawful for a person to receive or possess a firearm which is not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. It will be noted, however, that this registration requirement of federal law is not a licensing statute as there is a distinct difference between a requirement for licensure and a requirement for registration.
So my point is since Cox has superceded this opinion with the new one there is no language left to block us and in particular the silencers. So if the MSP or anybody else trys to tell you that silencers are illegal, then I don't think so. Can't be for too many reasons. I see where we will simply have to make application to NFA and if approved thats our license to satisfy the exception under state law and it will be our license under state law.
AG Mike Cox obviously read old Kelly's opinion after all thats one of the questions we asked about . He read it and understood that opinion and that it specifically mentioned silencers. Like I said in another post - if he wanted to he could have narrowed his opinion strictly to the mg's but he didn't. He has superceded Kellys opinion. It is no more.