LANSING, Mich. – In response to the February 13 mass shooting at Michigan State University and the November 2021 mass shooting at Oxford High School, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed six bills into law, designed to protect Michiganders against gun violence.
The common sense legislation being put in place doesn’t affect gun ownership, but closes loopholes in the law and requires universal background checks for all firearm sales.
“For years now, the legislature in Michigan has been paralyzed to act. No more. I am proud to have the governor sign my bill as a part of the universal background check package and to be able to share in this great moment for our state,” said state Rep. Brenda Carter (D-Pontiac).
Additionally, the bills target unsafe gun storage practices, which many senators cited as a key issue in battling gun violence. Senate Bill 79 requires an individual to store firearms unloaded and in a locked box when it is reasonably known that a minor will be or likely will be on the premises.
“Over half of all gun owners don’t store and lock their guns, which means millions of young children live in homes with unlocked and loaded firearms,” said Rep. and Chair of the Michigan Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention Caucus Felicia Brabec (D-Pittsfield Township).
Minor safety is the main concern of the legislation, with many politicians citing the rising numbers of young people falling victim to gun violence.
“Protecting children is our top priority. As elected officials, it is our responsibility to do what we can to help keep our communities safe from gun violence,” said Speaker of the House Joe Tate (D-Detroit). “Requiring guns be safely stored in homes where a minor is present and implementing background checks for the purchase of all firearms are simple reforms that just make sense.”
Spartans on campus said the reforms are a step in the right direction after the tragic shooting that took place in Berkey Hall and the MSU Union in February.
Michigan State University freshman Andrew Crail said, “It brings me joy that something is being done in order to make our state and school a safer place for everyone. I think this is a great step in the right direction and shows the willingness to take action.”
“It makes me feel optimistic about our society,” said MSU freshman Hayden Mueller. “We are finally taking steps to battle a problem that has been going on so long.”