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Democratic state lawmakers announce firearm storage bills

Interior_of_a_gun_safe_for_visitors_at_a_courthouse_in_Prague,_Czech_Republic.jpg
Cimmerian praetor
/
Wikimedia Commons
Interior of a gun safe for visitors at a courthouse in Prague, Czech Republic

Michiganders would face criminal charges if they fail to properly lock up a firearm and it leads to injury or death. That’s under a new bill package announced Tuesday.

The bills would also get rid of sales and use taxes on gun safety devices—including safes and lock boxes.

Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel said the package doesn’t infringe upon anyone’s Second Amendment rights.

“This isn’t taking guns away from anybody except for people who should not have them that are children. And my honest message to lawmakers here in Lansing who refuse to advance this legislation: you have blood on your hands,” Nessel said.

The bills likely face an uphill battle to get through the Republican-controlled Legislature.

A spokesperson for Speaker of the House Jason Wentworth said the House Judiciary Committee would likely decide whether the bills will move forward in his chamber.

But they’re already facing pushback from some members of his party.

State Representative Phil Green (R-Millington) said he feels the bills are too reactive.

“It’s an opportunity to add more penalties after the fact. Let’s deal proactively. Let’s deal with the training. Let’s deal with teaching people responsibility,” Green said.

The package is part of an ongoing effort to pass gun safety laws following a fatal mass shooting at Oxford High School in November.

State Senator Rosemary Bayer (D-Beverly Hills) represents the district that includes that school. She said the bills would strengthen laws designed to prevent minors from gaining unsupervised access to a gun.

“I’m tired of thoughts and prayers. We have the privilege of being able to do actually do something about this. In our work, we could change this,” Bayer said.

The package includes mirror bills in both the state House and Senate.

While it’s unclear how far this package would move in the Senate, Democrats pushing for changes to gun laws have received some welcome news about another legislative effort.

Supporters say a bill package to create so-called “red flag laws,” which aim to get guns out of the hands of people who may be a threat to themselves or others, will likely receive a hearing before the Senate Government Operations Committee.

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