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Michigan Democrats push for gun magazine capacity limits

Michigan State Capitol
Michigan State Capitol

Democrats in the Michigan Legislature have renewed their call for new gun control measures, following the Oxford Community High School shootings where four students were killed and seven people were injured.

A bill introduced in the state House on Thursday would limit gun magazines to no more than 10 rounds. The alleged shooter emptied two 15-round magazines in five minutes, according to the Oakland County sheriff.

Advocates for the legislation said a 10-round limit could reduce deaths and injuries in gun violence incidents like the Oxford school shootings.

“The time it takes for the gunman to reload a weapon could be time for a victim to escape a shooter, could be time for law enforcement or a bystander to intervene,” said Sean Holihan with the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Other gun control bills already introduced in the Legislature but never acted on include locked storage requirements and universal background checks.

Senator Rosemary Bayer (D-Beverly Hills) said she hopes the magazine capacity limit is a measure that can bridge the partisan divide over gun control in the Legislature.

“So I’m asking all my colleagues in the Senate and the House for a change of heart and mind and conscience,” said Bayer, whose district includes Oxford. “I’m asking this for all the empty chairs at Christmas tables this year.”

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) has said he’d like to see better enforcement of existing laws. House Speaker Jason Wentworth (R-Farwell) said he won’t commit to any specific measures as more details on the shooting are still coming to light, but he said he is open to discussions.

“We’re still mourning the loss of those children,” he said.

“We want to make sure that we’re there too, that if there are changes that need to be made that we’re looking at those options and keeping an open mind to whatever ideas and suggestions there are to curb this kind of thing from happening in the future,” Wentworth said.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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