Michigan lawmakers push firearm storage legislation alongside Oxford shooting survivor
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Several Michigan lawmakers were joined Tuesday by the state’s attorney general and a group of safety advocates, including a survivor of the mass shooting at Oxford High School, to urge legislative action on secure firearm storage bills.
The bills are Senate Bill 550, introduced by Sen. Rosemary Bayer (D-Beverly Hills), and House Bill 5066, introduced by Rep. Felicia Brabec (D-Ann Arbor). The bills would require guns to be kept in a secure lock box, in a location a reasonable person would believe is secure, or securely locked with a locking device.
Amy Hunter, a representative of the National Rifle Association, said the group would oppose the legislation.
“The NRA opposes government mandates dictating how a law-abiding gun owner must store their firearm. We believe the firearm owner should decide the safest storage method for their particular needs and household,” Hunter said. “The U.S. Supreme Court has already made clear the government may not require firearms to be stored in a way that defeats their use for ‘immediate self-defense.’”
The push for storage legislation comes after Oxford High School had multiple students killed in a mass shooting. Currently, both the accused shooter and their parents are charged in connection with the attack, in part due to the manner in which they stored their guns.
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Reina St. Juliana, a Junior at Oxford High School whose sister was killed in the attack, spoke at the event.
“A 15-year-old was given access to a 9mm handgun as an early Christmas gift,” she said. “Four days later that same gun was used to… kill four children. Justin Shilling, Madisyn Baldwin, Tate Myre, and my little sister, Hana St. Juliana. Why does a 15-year-old have access to a weapon that can cause so much harm?”
Jonathan Gold is the Michigan Chapter president of Giffords Gun Owners for Safety.
“I’m a concealed carry gun owner who respects the rights of citizens to defend themselves,” Gold said. “Like the majority of responsible gun owners, I don’t approve of firearms bans, nor do I approve of negligence or armed intimidation. I know that my 2nd amendment rights and supporting practical gun safety measures are not mutually exclusive.”
Additional legislation proposed would make it easier to acquire gun storage by exempting sales and use tax for gun safety devices such as safes, lock boxes and trigger and barrel locks. Finally, Senate Bill 553, sponsored by Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak), and House Bill 5069, sponsored by Rep. Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham), would make changes to sentencing guidelines to reflect changes created by the main bills.
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