Detroit Evening Report: Michigan House passes gun control, right-to-work repeal bills

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Michigan state capitol building

It was a busy session for the Michigan Legislature on Wednesday, as bills passed by the State House covered gun regulation, labor laws and more.

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The House approved bills that would require a criminal background check and registration for any firearm purchased. The current law only states handgun sales to be registered, but will now expand to rifles and shotguns. The Democratic-led house passed the bill along party lines (56-53) and is now headed to the Michigan Senate for consideration.

The legislation follows last month’s mass shooting at Michigan State University that left three students dead and five injured. The law exempts background checks for any long guns and rifles currently in possession as they will be grandfathered in. The responsibility will shift from police to the seller of the firearm to perform the necessary background checks.

“This package will not take anything away from gun owners,” said Rep. Jaime Churches (D-Wyandotte), a former teacher. “It will merely be an inconvenience to you, the same way you inconvenience my curriculum, so I have to teach my kids survival.”

The House also passed the right-to-work repeal, which will restore the prevailing wage requirements for government contracts. The right-to-work repeal includes $1 million in appropriations to make the legislation referendum-proof in the public and private sectors.

The passage means union members get their power back, according to Rep. Jim Haadsma (D-Battle Creek). Haadsma, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, said he and his fellow Democratic leaders are hoping to get the bill passed in both chambers by the end of the month.

Other headlines for March 9, 2023:

  • Metro Detroit facing another snow storm, 3-6 inches of snow expected
  • Hamtramck Public Schools board votes to raise pay
  • Detroit events planned ahead of 313 Day

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  • Hernz Laguerre
    Hernz Laguerre Jr. is a Multimedia Journalist at 101.9 WDET. He is one of the co-host for "Detroit Evening Report," one of the weekend anchors for "Weekend Edition," the producer for our political podcast, "MichMash," and reports on arts, culture and politics.