Detroit Evening Report: Michigan Democrats propose tougher gun laws in wake of MSU mass shooting

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Mourners attend a vigil at The Rock on the grounds of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich., Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. Alexandria Verner, Brian Fraser and Arielle Anderson were killed and several other students remain in critical condition after a gunman opened fire on the campus of Michigan State University Monday night. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

Mourners attend a vigil at The Rock on the grounds of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich., Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023.

Democrats in the Michigan Senate filed legislation Thursday that would require universal background checks to buy a firearm, and punish those who don’t safely store their guns.

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As Bridge Michigan reports, the 11-bill package also aims to prevent people deemed a danger to themselves or others from owning a gun with proposed red flag laws.

“Monday night was the toughest part of my professional career,” Senate Majority Floor Leader Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) said during Thursday’s legislative session. “What can I do to best represent a community that is in pain? They don’t want to be told what can be done or not be done – they want to see some type of action.”

The legislation comes after three students were killed and five injured during a mass shooting at Michigan State University earlier this week. 43-year-old Anthony McRae fired inside Berkey Hall and the MSU Union — a popular place for students to eat and study — shortly before 8:30 p.m. Monday.

Some Republican lawmakers and gun advocacy groups are against tighter reform laws and accuse Democrats of using the MSU tragedy to further their own agenda.

“Anti-gun Democrats wasted no time introducing their unconstitutional rights shredding legislation,” Brenden Boudreau, executive director for Great Lakes Gun Rights, said in a statement.

“The sad truth is deranged murderers who commit pre-meditated murder are not halted by gun confiscation, registration, and lock up your safety laws. They willingly violate these regulations while good Michiganders who lawfully own firearms pay the price for failed gun control policies.”

The Michigan House has introduced its own school safety package dealing with mental health and other resources. House Democrats are also pledging action on gun legislation.

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  • Sascha Raiyn
    Sascha Raiyn is Education Reporter at 101.9 WDET. She is a native Detroiter who grew up listening to news and music programming on Detroit Public Radio.