LANSING, Mich. — It was a busy morning in the Capitol on Wednesday as Senate Democrats tried an unorthodox move.
State Sen. Rosemary Bayer, D - Beverly Hills, proposed bringing gun safety bills up for a vote, essentially pulling them out of committee where they’ve languished for months.
In a party line vote, however, the effort was squashed by the Republican majority.
“This is urgent now because again we did nothing after the Oxford shootings, we did nothing after the Buffalo shootings and now we don’t want to do anything today," Bayer said in a speech on the Senate floor.
Her remarks came just half a day after a lone gunman took the lives of 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Texas.
“Every day we don’t take action, we are choosing guns over children," she said.
The bills Bayer wanted a vote on are a package she sponsored that addresses safe storage. Bill 550 would require gun owners to store their firearm in a locked box and, if the gun was accessed and used by a minor, charges would be brought against the gun owner.
Bayer said the move to get a vote on these bills was not planned.
“Screw it. We've got to do something to get attention out of this. We've got to draw the public," she said in an interview after her remarks.
Bayer was not the only politician who voiced deep frustration on Wednesday.
“I'm a generation where we were the first to endure these school shootings," said state Sen. Jeremy Moss, D - Southfield. "And now we have squandered this opportunity for more than a generation. And now it's our kids that are dealing with this problem. Let's act.”
Republicans in the chamber argued that it was too soon after the shooting in Texas to take up these bills.
"These families are grieving," said state Sen. Ken Horn, R - Frankemuth. "They don't give a flying frog what we do here in the Senate right now. They're not paying attention to us. There are political solutions but there are just as many spiritual solutions”
Bayer says passing stricter gun laws s doable and she will continue to work at it, but it will also take the right people legislating.
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