LANSING (WWJ) – Bumper stickers often say a lot about the person driving the car — but slapping one on your car could also be considered a crime.
If you have a bumper sticker from any organization, association, fraternity, lodge, group or club displayed on your car, you could be breaking the law.
Michigan law currently says if you’re not a member of the group that you’re promoting, you could be found guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $100 fine.
WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick discussed the issue with Republican Rep. Tom Leonard, who sponsored legislation to repeal the law.
“There are some that believe this could be MSU basketball. So, if somebody has a MSU basketball sticker on their vehicle and they’re not a member of the team, they could be written a misdemeanor ticket,” Leonard said.
“Well, aren’t the police always looking for excuses to pull us over? This is a good one isn’t it,” Skubick asked.
“Absolutely not. Again, this, in my opinion, this is a violation of the First Amendment. It needs to go,” Leonard said.
In 1979, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled the law was unconstitutional. However, despite the court’s ruling, the language remains part of Michigan Compiled Law.
In August, Leonard introduced House Bill 4930. The resolution amends the Protection of Names and Emblems Act to repeal the section which prohibits non-members from displaying an organization’s bumper sticker.
A House Committee passed the resolution and sent it to the House floor.