State lawmakers to roll out gun reform bills

Posted at 5:59 AM, Mar 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-13 10:42:09-04

(WXYZ) — Today, lawmakers will be tackling gun reform in Lansing. Michigan Democrats are proposing a sweeping 11-bill gun safety package in response to the mass shootings at Oxford High School and Michigan State University.

Safe storage laws, universal background checks, and red flag laws are the three main topics covered in the 11 bills that were drafted more than 15 months ago. Lawmakers began drafting the bills after the 2021 Oxford shooting.

"So we all started barricading the door and our teacher started dialing the office, and I will never forget the look on her face, of terror. I didn't know if I would make it out. We didn't know where the shooter was inside the school we didn't know if our classroom was next," Oxford High School senior Dylan Morris said.

Dylan was 17 years old junior when he survived the Oxford shooting. He lost four of his classmates that day and to ensure this would never happen again, he started a non-profit called “No Future Without Today.” The nonprofit's goal is to push for gun reform.

"We need to be advocating for these sensible gun reforms as well as making sure that community members have affordable quality access to this care," he said. "It can't fall on the survivors to do this work."

The first set of bills would require universal background checks to close the private sale loophole. The second set of bills would create child access protection laws to keep legal firearms securely stored and out of the hands of children. The third set would allow a court to issue an "extreme risk protection order" to take temporary possession of a firearm if the court finds that an individual is at risk of harming themselves or others.

Meanwhile, the opposition believes the current gun laws need to be enforced better. Representative Doug Wozniak says the focus should be on mental health instead of firearms.

"I think it has to do with the rights that inherently are in the constitution," he said. "I think trying to control people by taking away their rights is just not the right thing to do."