How Michigan's gun laws could change under Democratic reform
Michigan Democrats are another step closer to fulfilling their campaign promises to enact stricter gun laws.
Driving the news: The Democratic-led Senate approved an 11 bill package last week to increase regulations on gun ownership for residents. The three gun safety proposals include: Safe storage laws (SB 79-82), universal background checks (SB 76-78) and so-called red flag laws (SB 83-86).
- The bills were reintroduced days after last month's mass shooting at Michigan State University. The same bills were first introduced after the 2021 shooting at Oxford High School.
Details: The "red flag" legislation would allow a judge to temporarily restrict access to guns for individuals at an elevated risk of harming themselves or others. Another bill would require individuals to obtain a license to own a firearm.
- Gun owners would be required to register their firearms purchase, including rifles and shotguns sold outside of federally licensed dealers, such as gun shows.
- Individuals who inherit a gun from their family would also have to obtain a license.
- The package would also implement safe storage laws, which would levy penalties for leaving a firearm where a minor could access it.
Of note: Michigan law currently requires rifle or shotgun buyers to be at least 18 years old, and at least 21 to purchase a handgun from a federally licensed dealer — though some licenses allow 18 year olds to purchase handguns from private sellers.
What they're saying: "The shooter at MSU was waving red flags all over the place," Sen. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) said during a Senate floor speech last week. "This legislation (SB 83) would've given his father, who expressed concerns, the opportunity to do something."
- "Had the (Extreme Risk Protection Order) been in place, three people would be alive today," Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) said.
- Some Republicans argued on the floor last Thursday against stricter gun regulations, saying the state needs to invest in door locks, cameras and ID badges.
- "We just had an incident where a gunman walked into an open school building and we don't think we need to invest more in security?" said Sen. Joseph Bellino (R-Monroe).
What's next: The bills now move to the state House, where they could be voted on as soon as this week.
- Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signaled she will sign the bills.
More Detroit stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Detroit.