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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Gun Control Laws Introduced in the Michigan Legislature

Gun Control Laws

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Shooting and gun-related violence have been headlining the news in the US for quite some time now. Despite the national outrage towards these senseless yet preventable deaths, there has been little to no reform.

In Michigan’s legislature, Democrat legislators have made it their priority to end these senseless killings and make Michigan safe for its residents. In an article that was recently published by The Gander, a Michigan-focused newsroom by Courier Newsroom, it was reported that Michigan Democrats are now working double-time to advance gun violence prevention legislation. The proposed reforms include universal background checks and other “red flag” laws.

They had 11 bills as part of a single package catered towards preventing gun violence. On March 9, 2023, this package of bills was voted on by the state Senate Committee and has advanced to the next stage.

If passed into law these bills will:

  1. Make universal background checks mandatory for all guns;
  2. Improve safe storage laws to prevent minors from accessing guns; and
  3. Introduce “Extreme Risk Protection Orders” which will empower courts to temporarily possess the guns of people that are at risk of harming themselves or others.

“Gun violence has taken far too many lives, shattered families, and scarred communities. My colleagues and I have been working alongside our fellow Michiganders—students, parents, advocates, law enforcement, lawyers, and others—to craft and promote common-sense gun violence prevention policies,” said Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) in a statement.

The extreme risk protection orders could prove to be extremely useful in the fight against gun violence and may also help bring down suicide rates by limiting access to firearms, says State Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak).

“In many cases of suicide or threats against others, there are warning signs ahead of time—signs that family and loved ones too often see, but don’t have the ability to intervene,” she told the Courier Newsroom publication. “Extreme Risk Protection Orders can and do save lives—by creating a tool to temporarily remove firearms from those who are demonstrably an immediate risk to themselves or others.”

According to State Sen. Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores), universal background checks enjoy support across party lines. This is good news because it will ensure that Michigan can better enforce existing laws and keeps guns out of the reach of those that pose a risk.

The Gander, a Courier Newsroom publication, reported that these bills have not been co-sponsored by any Republicans despite 88% of Michigan’s residents being in favor of introducing universal background checks. Previous attempts by Democrats to update gun control laws have also been thwarted by Republicans.

In addition to background checks, safe storage laws and extreme risk protection orders also enjoy support across party and geographic lines. Surprisingly, these bills have also been endorsed by former GOP legislators.

It was reported by the Courier Newsroom publication, that these bills have gained this support after Michigan residents gave six hours of testimony held by the Senate Civil Rights, Judiciary, and Public Safety Committee. Those who gave the testimony included survivors of gun violence and their family members. Attorney General Dana Nessel has also expressed her support for the gun control package.

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