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Michigan Democrats Vow Gun Controls After Mass Shootings

Armed with two handguns and dozens of rounds of ammunition, Anthony McRae open fired at Michigan State University on Feb. 13, killing three students and wounding five more. The mass shooting pushed Michigan Democrats, who had planned to prioritize changes to gun laws, into action. They are expected to bring an 11-bill gun safety package before the legislature this week, emboldened by their sweeping victories in statewide elections in November that gave them control. Responding to two mass school shootings in 15 months, the party’s leaders say it is only the beginning of gun reform in the state, the Associated Press reports. “Nothing is off the table,” said Sen. Rosemary Bayer, who leads the firearm safety caucus. “But every state has a culture. So I think we’re trying to be conscious of Michigan and how we do things.”

The package aims to establish safe storage laws, universal background checks and extreme risk protection orders, known as red flag laws. Lawmakers will consider the package less than three years after protesters armed with guns entered the statehouse. “Tyrannical government, like we’re witnessing here today, is why the Second Amendment is here in the first place,” says Republican Rep. Angela Rigas. The bills were introduced after the Michigan State University shooting. Students across the vast campus were ordered to shelter in place for four hours while police hunted for McRae who — when confronted by police — killed himself. Much of the package was crafted by Democrats nearly 15 months ago after a shooting at Oxford High School that left four students dead and seven others injured. The bills saw little movement with Republicans controlling the House and Senate. With Democrats in full control for the first time in decades, the bills quickly came before House and Senate committees this month. Gun violence survivors and the families of victims packed committee rooms and gave tearful testimony.


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