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Rep. Elissa Slotkin plans to introduce gun reform bills following mass shooting at MSU

Elissa Slotkin, speaking from her house, in a computer screenshot
Virtual town hall
Representative Elissa Slotkin speaks at a virtual townhall on Feb. 22, 2023.

Hundreds of people tuned in to a virtual town hall Wednesday evening to hear what Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin and state Senator Rosemary Bayer plan to do to strengthen gun laws in Michigan and the country.

The gunman responsible for last week's mass shooting at Michigan State University was able to buy multiple firearms after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge in 2019.

Democratic Representative Elissa Slotkin says she’s planning to introduce legislation that would restrict the ability of people convicted of gun-related offenses to purchase firearms.

The measure would include a waiting period on firearms purchases for any person charged with a gun-related offense.

“You are prohibited from buying guns through a background check for 'x' number of years, and that’s what my team in Washington (D.C.) is looking at right now, specifically tied to the MSU experience,” she said.

Under federal law, people convicted of a felony or a domestic violence misdemeanor are banned from purchasing a firearm.

State Senator Bayer says she wants to pass several legislative packages that would require universal background checks before purchasing any type of firearm, along with rules for secure storage. Bayer says she’s confident the state’s current legislative body will push forward in approving these laws.

We'll make sure we don't get into the situation where people with past offenses, convictions can go ahead and just buy one, and it includes circumstances outside of a store,” she said.

Michigan doesn’t currently require background checks for private rifle and shotgun purchases. And there's no law requiring firearms to be stored in a certain way.

According to Bayer, the proposed legislation would hold adults responsible for the firearms liable if these are misused in any way due to a lack of proper storage.

“If you're a gun owner with children in the home, under 18, you're required to secure that weapon, it can be a $10 gun lock,” she said. “If a child in your home takes that weapon and commits a crime with it, as we saw in the Oxford shooting, then the parents should be held criminally liable.”

Bayer says a hearing for the bills will be held on the Senate floor next week.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
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