Livingston County Board, Sheriff Will Not Enforce State Red Flag Laws

Photo: Michelle Pemberton ~ USA TODAY NETWORK

LIVINGSTON COUNTY, April 24, 2023 ~ As Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to sign more gun control measures soon, a Michigan county is already opposing one of the laws. 

Last week, the Michigan State Senate passed four bills under the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, more commonly known as red flag laws. However, the all-GOP Livingston County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution Monday to declare Livingston a “constitutional county” and that it should not enforce red flag laws. 

The law passed by the state legislature would temporarily confiscate firearms from residents potentially in danger of hurting themselves or others. Eligible people close to the potentially dangerous person may acquire an extreme risk protection order from Michigan’s State Court Administrative Office.


April 26, 2023 ~ WJR Senior News Analyst Chris Renwick tells Paul W. as the Michigan legislature moves forward with red flag laws, some members of the law enforcement community are deciding whether or not they would enforce those laws.

(CONTINUED) In order for guns to be confiscated, the complaint must prove that an individual “can reasonably be expected within the near future to intentionally or unintentionally seriously physically injure” someone. People who can make complaints are medical professionals, family members, guardians, former romantic partners, and law enforcement. 

However, Livingston County Board members voted unanimously in asking the county sheriff and prosecutor to not enforce laws that would “restrict” the rights of gun owners. Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy said he believes red flag laws are “unconstitutional.” 

We have never, ever been able to legislate our way out of a crisis,” Murphy said in a Facebook video discussing red flag laws. “That is not how it works. You can make all the laws in the world and people are still going to do evil things.” 

Danny Wimmer, a spokesperson for Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, said county sheriffs and prosecutors have discretion about which laws to enforce with the resources of their offices, though the attorney general’s office does not agree with Livingston’s choice. However, he said that Michigan State Police have jurisdiction statewide to locally enforce these laws. 

Three of the four bills passed by the legislature will return to the State House for a vote before going to Whitmer, since there were minor changes made to them in the Senate.