Democrats renew push for gun control legislation after Oxford high school shooting – CBS Detroit
LANSING, Michigan (AP) – Democrats on Wednesday vowed to pass new gun control legislation and try to revive bills stalled in the Republican-led Michigan legislature following a shooting of mass that left four dead and seriously injured at Oxford High School.
But GOP leaders, who have long opposed such measures and favored looser restrictions, did not immediately engage in policy changes.
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“There is nothing we can do,” Democratic Senator Rosemary Bayer told reporters after senators held a minute’s silence for the dead. ” We need to act. Right now, today, I think I really, really want to focus on the families andâ¦ just trying to help them know that we are there for them, that we are supporting them in any way we can.
The district of Bayer includes the high school of Oxford.
Earlier this year, mass shootings in Georgia and Colorado reignited calls from gun control advocates for tighter restrictions on the purchase of firearms and ammunition. But with Democrats in charge of the federal government, gun rights advocates have persuaded Republican-led legislatures to go the other way and make it easier to get and carry guns.
Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who opposes easing restrictions, has said gun violence is a public health crisis. She called for unspecified “actions” beyond “thoughts and prayers” but did not give details. She has already supported a measure that would allow judges to order the seizure of firearms from people who pose a significant risk to themselves or to others.
In June, Bayer introduced legislation to hold adults who fail to protect their guns accountable. The 15-year-old charged with the Tuesday murders, Ethan Crumbley, illegally had a handgun his father had purchased four days earlier, authorities said.
The bill would require adults to keep a firearm in a securely locked container if they know it is accessible to minors. If a minor obtained the weapon and used it to kill or injure, the adult could face up to five years in prison. There would be exceptions if minors were allowed to engage in activities such as target shooting and hunting.
Republicans did not hold a hearing on the measure or other gun control laws.
“If we are obsessed with eliminating all risks, then we will develop and evolve into a country that we will not recognize because we will not have any freedoms either,” said the Senate majority leader , Mike Shirkey. âIt’s a balance. It is a very narrow road. It’s difficult. These kinds of events keep these thoughts in mind.
He suggested that there had probably been some warning signs about the shooter, and asked how the teenager had accessed the gun.
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âThat stuff is controllable already, but maybe just to miss the signs,â Shirkey said.
But Oakland County District Attorney Karen McDonald, a Democrat whose office indicted Crumbley, called for policy changes without specifying further.
âIf yesterday’s incident with four murdered children and several injured children is not enough to revise our gun laws, I don’t know what it is. â¦ We have to make sure and want to know that when we send our children to school, they are safe. Responsible possession of firearms is imperative. This is critical.
Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, a former Republican lawmaker whose office is investigating the shooting, said gun laws are not being used and violators are allowed to enter into plea deals.
âI believe the surest way to control the accountability of people when they do things illegally with a gun is to punish them. This is not happening in many communities across America today, âhe said.
Democrat-sponsored legislation introduced this session or in previous years would, among other things, exempt firearm safety devices from state sales tax and extend universal background checks to all sales of firearms. ‘fire arms.
The Republican-backed bills would remove the general requirement to obtain a license to carry a concealed pistol. Rep. Steve Carra, a Republican for Three Rivers congressional candidate, said he was drafting legislation allowing teachers and school staff to store their personal weapons in safes in the event of an attack.
One area where lawmakers have found common ground in the past is security funding.
Michigan awarded $ 50 million in school safety grants in 2018 and 2019 following the mass shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 people dead. Lawmakers and Whitmer canceled $ 10 million in funding planned for 2020 due to the economic decline during the coronavirus pandemic, failed to provide funds in 2021, and authorized $ 10 million for school safety grants in 2022.
A spending proposal put forward in the House includes $ 10 million to help schools cover the costs of law enforcement officers in schools.
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