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Lawmakers urge action on safe gun storage laws

Posted at 6:26 PM, Feb 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-15 18:26:40-05

LANSING, Mich. — Democratic lawmakers gathered at the Capitol on Tuesday to urge their colleagues to get to work on passing a set of bills that would require guns to be stored safely away from children. The bills have not moved in the legislature since June, even after the mass shooting at Oxford High School.

“This is such an easy fix to so many problems and I mean, quite honestly, if you’re not safely storing your gun when you have minors that live in your household you really shouldn’t own a firearm," said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

Two of the bills would require guns to be stored in a secure lock box, in a location that a "reasonable" person would consider safe or secured with a locking device.

“These are dangerous deadly weapons, and again we’re not trying to impede on anybody’s right to gun ownership– just to ensure it's responsible gun ownership," Nessel said.

According to the state, between June of 2020 and January of 2021 a total of 20 Michigan children were killed by improperly stored guns. Right now, only 11 states in the U.S. have safe gun laws on their books.

"4.6 million children across America live in homes with unlocked or unsupervised firearms and 75 percent of those children know exactly where those guns are kept-- not only that but some 80 percent of shooters in school shootings under the age of 18 get that firearm from their home or the home of a friend or relative," said State Rep. Mari Manoogian. "We must pass legislation here in Michigan to require individuals who purchase firearms to keep those firearms stored in a manner consistent with how deadly they can be."

Brenden Boudreau, with Great Lakes Gun Rights, says his group is opposed to these bills, calling them "reactionary." He also questioned just how these laws would be enforced, if implemented.

Two additional State House and Senate bills aim to make gun safety devices more accessible by making locks, safes, and trigger locks exempt from sales and use taxes.

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