Must Accidental Shootings Be Reported: MCRGO Frequently Asked Question
Michigan – -(Ammoland.com)- Q: Is it true that accidental shootings must be reported to the state police?
A: MCL 752.843 states: “Every person who shall have caused or been involved in an accident in which a human being was killed or injured by means of a firearm, shall, in addition to complying with the provisions of section 2 of this act, immediately thereafter report such injury or death to the nearest office of the state police, or to the sheriff of the county wherein the death or injury occurred, unless such person be physically incapable of making the required report, in which event it shall be the duty of such person or persons to designate an agent to file the report. It shall be the duty of the sheriff, upon receipt of the report herein required, to transmit the same forthwith to the nearest office of the state police.”
So, any accidental gunshot that actually hits a human being must be reported to the state police or county sheriff “immediately.” In most cases, a call to 911 that factually states that the reason for the call is an accidental shooting would suffice.
Furthermore, Section 2 of the same law states: “Any person who discharges a firearm and thereby injures or fatally wounds another person, or has reason to believe he has injured or fatally wounded another person, shall immediately stop at the scene and shall give his name and address to the injured person, or any member of his party, and shall render to the person so injured immediate assistance and reasonable assistance in securing medical and hospital care and transportation for such injured person.”
So, there is a duty to render assistance as well. Depending on circumstances, this duty is probably also satisfied by the previously recommended 911 call.
Obviously, safe handling of firearms will result in no accidents. However, in the unfortunate instance where one occurs, the next step should be to call 911 and be certain that help is on the way. That said, it is worth remembering that we all have an absolute right to remain silent in cases where there may be criminal charges brought. Exercising that right does not prevent the shooter from complying with the above laws. A call to 911 can be phrased in the passive voice and limited to “There has been a shooting incident,” followed by sufficient information to allow first responders to locate the victim and render aid. Failure to do so may result in jail time of up to 90 days.
Steve Dulan (www.StevenWDulan.com) is a member of the Board of Directors of the MCRGO and the MCRGO Foundation, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the MCRGO Foundation. He is an attorney in private practice in East Lansing and Adjunct Professor of firearms law at The Thomas M. Cooley Law School. as well as an NRA Life Member.
The Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners is a non-profit, non-partisan organization. Formed from just eight people in 1996, we now have thousands of members and numerous affiliated clubs across the state. We’re growing larger and more effective every day.
Our mission statement is: “Promoting safe use and ownership of firearms through education, litigation, and legislation” Visit: www.mcrgo.org