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Senate sends gun reform bills to Whitmer’s desk

Michigan State capitol at sunset
Myesha Johnson

The Michigan Senate on Thursday adopted a set of long-debated gun safety bills.

The legislation includes universal background checks for gun purchases and requires that guns be locked in a safe place when they’re not in use.

State Senator Rosemary Bayer (D-Keego Harbor) is a key sponsor of the bills. Bayer said she expects these measures over time will reduce shootings, including suicides.

“If we can impact that, that’s the best thing we could do, right? That’s the biggest numbers of people,” she told Michigan Public Radio. “Then we know the safe storage is going to help with the kids and accidents and other things. So, we’re doing the right thing, and we’re going to feel that, and I think everyone will appreciate it when we get there.”

Under the legislation, Bayer said gun buyers would have to sign a statement that they understand the laws regarding safe storage. Gun owners would then face penalties if someone is killed or injured because a person had access to a gun that should have been locked up.

The bills were adopted on party-line votes. Republicans say more restrictions aren’t the solution to gun violence.

The bills now go to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s desk. She has said she intends to sign them.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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