LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A package of gun safety bills passed committee Wednesday, and is heading to the state house for a vote.
If passed, the legislation would prohibit specific individuals from having or buying a gun.
The bill list the criteria that a judge would need to follow to take away someone’s gun.
Specific markers for taking a gun away include things like illegal drug use, or having a history of domestic violence.
Additionally, the proposed legislation would outline who is allowed to make complaints to judges.
The legislative package is just a part of the legislation that came in the aftermath of the Oxford High School and Michigan State University shootings.
“I’ve been seeing this since I was in sixth grade, Sandy Hook happened when I was in sixth grade. Parkland happened when I was a senior in high school and know I’m a senior at my own school and it’s happening at my own school,” said Halle Gross, a MSU senior.
The student advocate marched with dozens of other students through MSU’s campus Tuesday in an effort to make their voices heard in the battle against gun violence.
“I know that these red flag laws, if they were in place, they could have stopped the shooting at MSU,” Gross said.
But gun owners and gun rights groups have challenged the bills.
In a letter to the state house judiciary committee, the state director for the NRA Institute for Legislative Action wrote that the bills are an “infringement of second amendment and property rights”. He added that the bills will prevent people from getting the mental health care they need
Republicans like State Rep. Gina Johnsen said not only should more be done to address mental health issues but more should also be done to toughen existing laws already on the books.
“Maybe instead of corporate welfare, we spend it on mental health, more mental health workers. We got the research, let’s use it. let’s apply it,” said Johnsen.
She is also concerned about how the laws will be applied.
“They are not going to accomplish the goal and possibly going to bog our courts down with false accusations and a bunch of nonsense,” she said.
Across the aisle, democratic State Representative Julie Brixie said the bill package is an answer to the calls for action heard at gun violence protests around the state.
“We are taking the steps to change the culture. If we want to be different, we have to change the laws governing guns in our state,” she said.
“We know looking at the terrible tragedies around the states that these types of laws save lives and allow someone to alert the police,” she added.
Brixie said she expects the House to vote on the bills in the coming weeks, as the state Senate has already passed a similar set of bills.