Michigan Republicans block votes on gun storage, background check bills

Michigan Republicans block votes on gun storage, background check bills

Republican state lawmakers in Michigan blocked Democrat’s efforts to bring gun storage safety and background check bills to a vote Wednesday, one day after the mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas.

Michigan’s bills would require safe storage standards for guns that could be accessed by a minor and background checks for firearm purchases.

One bill would require gun owners to lock up their weapon or face criminal charges if accessed by a minor. The other would make it a misdemeanor to knowingly sell certain firearms to anyone under the age of 18.

Senate Democrats made a procedural move Wednesday to bring the bills out of the Government Operations Committee for a vote before the full Senate, but Republicans who control the chamber quickly voted to send the bills back.

“This is an urgent situation we are facing,” Democratic state Sen. Rosemary Bayer said in a speech on the Senate floor. “We have been talking to you about this for years, over and over again. This is urgent now because again we did nothing after the Oxford shootings. We did nothing after the Buffalo shootings. Now, we don’t want to do anything today.”

“The lack of humanity sitting there and saying we can’t do anything. My God! We’ve normalized school shootings like this in our country, and it’s devastating. These poor parents and people are against sending their kids to school, and they’re not coming back home. Why? Because of a Jim Crow-type law called the filibuster,” Rep. Rashida Tlaib told Local 4.

“They have been languishing in committee for nearly a year,” said Rosie Jones, a spokeswoman for Senate Democrats. “We moved to discharge them and get the bills headed in the direction of the governor’s desk.”

Republican state Rep. Luke Meerman said recommendations on school safety, law enforcement and mental health improvements in the wake of Michigan’s Oxford school shooting last November, would be released in the next couple of weeks.

“Our goal has always been a consensus report that all of us can sign and finding things that we think are going to be very fundamental and instrumental in helping to hopefully make some serious changes,” Meerman said.

Tuesday’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, killed 19 students and two teachers. Authorities have identified the shooter as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos who was killed by law enforcement officers.

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