EAST LANSING, Mich. — Anyone who wants to buy a gun in Michigan must undergo a background check, and gun owners must safely store all firearms and ammunition around minors under new laws signed Thursday by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
The signing took place on the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing, where a gunman killed three students and wounded five others two months ago. Flanked by students and gun safety advocates, Whitmer, an MSU graduate, told the more than 100 people in attendance to «buckle up, we’re going to continue this work.»
“Gun violence is a scourge unique to this country,” Whitmer said. «We don’t have to live like this and today we are showing that we are not going to do it anymore.»
The legislation is part of a sweeping gun safety package of 11 bills that was introduced in the weeks after the MSU shooting, but was primarily drafted after the 2021 Oxford High School shooting that killed four students. . The bills saw little movement at the time with Republicans in control of the Legislature.
Gun safety advocates, who flocked to the state Capitol Thursday afternoon, cheered loudly from the gallery above the House chamber as Democrats voted to pass red flag laws, also known as hazard protection orders. extremes. The Senate approved the measures in March, but will have to give final approval to several amendments before sending the bills to Whitmer. The Democratic governor has said that she would sign the package when it arrives at her desk.
Extreme risk protection orders are intended to temporarily take away guns from people with potentially violent behavior to prevent them from hurting themselves or others. A associated press investigation Last year he found out that many US states barely use red flag laws.
Under legislation signed Thursday, criminal background checks will be required for anyone purchasing a rifle or shotgun, which was previously only required for the purchase of handguns. The secure storage bills would require gun owners to keep firearms unloaded in a locked storage box or container when a minor is «reasonably known to be or is likely to be present on the premises.» The laws will go into effect next year.
Secure storage requirements gained momentum after Ethan Crumbley, who was 15 at the time, killed four classmates and injured seven others at Oxford High School. Later, he admitted to using a gun that was not kept in a box at home and that his father had bought for him. His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, were charged with manslaughter for the acts of Ethan, who pleaded guilty to terrorism and first-degree murder charges.
Supporters have also said that safe storage requirements will protect teens from using firearms in suicide attempts.
Calling gun violence a «uniquely American problem,» Whitmer called attention to mass shootings across the country during her remarks Thursday, making specific reference to the recent shootings in Nashville and Louisville.
Numerous state legislatures across the country are debating ways to address gun violence. A shooting in downtown Louisville this week was the 15th mass murder of the year in the US in which four or more people besides the perpetrator were killed. That’s the most during the first 100 days of a calendar year since 2009.
The United States is deeply divided over what, if any, steps to take in the face of violence involving firearms. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, an expected Republican presidential candidate who visited Michigan last week, signed a bill this month allowing people in his state to carry concealed firearms without a permit and without training or background checks. . It goes into effect on July 1.