LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – A month since the school shooting on the campus of Michigan State University, the Michigan House has passed a series of bills providing gun reform to the state.
More than 12 bills have been introduced regarding gun laws about Red Flag Laws, Extreme Risk Protection Orders, but so far only those regarding Universal Background Checks have passed in the House.
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The first bill that passed was House Bill 4138 which was introduced by Representative Jaime Churches (D-Wyandotte) which would expand background checks for all gun sales and purchases in Michigan.
One of the other proposed pieces of gun legislation that has yet to be voted on is House Bill 4149 which pertains to limiting areas where licensed concealed carry permit carriers can conceal their firearm.
Under current state law, individuals are prohibited from carrying a concealed weapon in a school, public or private child care center, sports arena or stadium, certain bars, religious institutions, an entertainment facility with a capacity of 2,500 or more, a hospital, a dormitory or classroom of a community college, college, or university, among other places.
If the new legislation were to pass, individuals would then be prohibited from carrying in a “building owned or leased by this state or that part of a building owned or leased by this state.”
Before the vote took place, the House Judiciary heard a series of statements from supporters and opponents of expanded gun legislation over a two week period on March 1 and 8.
Previous advocates for the proposed legislation included Michigan President of Gifford’s Gun Owners for Safety, Jonathan Gold, who spoke in favor of the bills as a gun owner and firearms instructor.
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“None of these laws infringe upon my second amendment rights,” Gold said, “they don’t revoke my right to own and operate a firearm, nor do they prohibit what I can own or where I can carry.”
One of the speakers against the legislation on the committee’s second hearing came from Dr. Jon Lott, President of the Crime Prevention Research Center.
“So we all want to save lives,” Lott began, “I fear that these laws will lead to more deaths; not fewer ones and there’s not really been much of a serious cost-benefit analysis, that I’ve been able to see, on these laws. None of these laws being proposed would have stopped the murders at Michigan State University.”
Lott later cited a statistic from his research stating that people use guns defensively to stop violent crime about five times more frequently that guns are used in the commision of crime.
After his statement, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee and Representative Kelly Breen (D-Novi) asked a series of questions including one about limiting the number of people harmed in a shooting, if the number of bullets in clip were limited.
“I don’t know if you know this, but the magazine is like the simplest part of the gun,” Lott said, “I’ve seen people put magazines together, literally with just a simple stamping press in two minutes. If you ban magazines of different sizes, the only people you’re going to stop from having the magazines are law abiding citizens.”
Another new piece of legislation introduced on March 7, includes raising the minimum age of purchasing any firearm in the state to that of 21 years.
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