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Bills on the way from Michigan Democrats would regulate gun storage at home

Shallow depth of field picture showing a row of revolvers receding into the background.
Charlie Riedel

A group of Democratic state lawmakers is planning to introduce new firearm safety legislation.

Sponsors say the bills would create safe gun storage requirements for households with children. They would also set penalties for when unsafe storage results in injury or death.

State representative Mari Manoogian says the package is more than a response to November’s mass shooting at Oxford High School.

“We have a challenge of gun violence, not just in the form of mass shootings but in these accidental tragedies where children are able to access a firearm that shouldn’t be in their hands,” Manoogian said.

“A lot of critics will say, well, you know, ‘Why do anything because you’re never going to end gun violence completely?’ And I think that’s a ridiculous way to look at this. Essentially, why would we have any laws if it meant that we couldn’t stop violent crimes completely,” she added.

Democratic state Senator Rosemary Bayer says keeping kids from reaching guns would help prevent violence—including incidents like the Oxford High School shooting, in her district.

“Most of the time when children are involved in shootings, it’s a gun they had at home. Even the thing that just happened in Oxford was a gun from home,” Bayer said.

The bills would need Republican support to make it through the Legislature. But it’s unclear how much it would receive given leadership’s past reluctance to get behind stricter gun control legislation. Bayer said she’s planning to push Republican Senate leadership to hold a hearing on the package during an upcoming meeting.

Emailed requests for comment from Republican lawmakers were not returned.