Bills have strong public support, backing from MSU, Oxford and other shooting victims and families, gun safety advocates, responsible gun owners, and law enforcement officials
LANSING, Mich. (March 9, 2023) — Today, Vice Chair Sen. Sue Shink (D-Northfield Twp.) and the Senate Civil Rights, Judiciary and Public Safety Committee voted to pass the Senate Democrats’ 11-bill gun violence prevention package to establish universal background checks, Extreme Risk Protection Orders and child access protection laws.
“As a lawyer and a legislator, I understand the power of our laws to make a difference and save lives, and these bills are a prime example,” said Sen. Shink. “It has been so heartbreaking to hear the firsthand testimony from the kids and parents who have experienced and lost loved ones to gun violence, and their frustration at the lack of previous action from their elected officials. Our committee and Caucus are listening, and today, we have heeded Michiganders’ calls for action on these commonsense protections that can help stem the tide of gun violence.”
The gun violence prevention bills were introduced by Senate Democrats to encourage gun safety and help prevent acts of violence like the shootings at Michigan State University on Feb. 13, and Oxford High School on Nov. 30, 2021. The bills will:
Require universal background checks to close the private sale loophole (Senate Bills 76-78);
Create child access protection laws to keep legal firearms securely stored and out of the hands of children and teens (Senate Bills 79-82); and
Allow a court to issue an “Extreme Risk Protection Order” (ERPO) to take temporary possession of a firearm if the court finds that an individual is at risk of harming themselves or others (Senate Bills 83-86).
Over the past two weeks, the committee heard supportive testimony on the legislative package from a number of gun violence victims and family members, including students and parents from Michigan State University, as well as advocacy groups. Attorney General Dana Nessel and
Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit and a number of county prosecutors also spoke in support of the bills.
A new Glengariff poll released last week found that 87.8 percent of Michigan respondents support passage of a law requiring any person purchasing any type of gun from anyone else to go through a background check. Red flag (ERPO) laws had 74.5 percent support in the poll, and safe storage (child access protection) had 79.8 percent support. Some of the proposals had as high as 85.5 percent support of gun owners and 77.8 percent support of Republican gun owners.