Parents, students join volunteers at Capitol to demand action on secure firearm storage bills
None of the bills have received a hearing since they were introduced, even after the Oxford shooting.
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Volunteers with the Michigan chapter of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action held a press conference Tuesday with Michigan State Sen. Rosemary Bayer and other gun safety advocates to call for more action on secure firearm storage bills.
They are urging lawmakers to prioritize advancing legislation -- Senate Bills 550 and 553 and House Bills 5066 and 5069 -- that would require gun owners to securely store firearms when leaving them in a location where the owner is aware the guns are accessible to a minor.
Bayer’s district includes Oxford Township, where a 15-year-old student allegedly opened fire at Oxford High School in November, killing four classmates.
Others in attendance included Jennifer Prather, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action and a parent of a survivor of the Oxford High School shooting; Aria Segura, a volunteer with Students Demand Action whose cousin attends OHS; and Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts.
Jennifer Prather said before the Oxford shooting, she never thought about guns.
“I used to kind of glaze over when I would see the news headlines every single day about a new mass shooting in our country.” said Prather. “I can’t do that anymore.”
Prather said Tuesday’s effort was about common sense proposals that would save lives.
“I’m hoping that we get to meet with a lot of legislators and that they will hear our demands and they will understand that the majority of Michigan families support securely storing the weapons in their homes.” said Prather.
However, Republican Rep. Sarah Lighter said gun storage should be up to the responsibility of the gun owner, not the government.
“I think its you as a responsible gun owner to take care of it yourself. I don’t think it should be mandated,” Lightner said. “I don’t think the government should come into my home and tell me how to store things. I mean what’s going to be next?”
She said she’s not a fan of increasing any type of restriction on access to guns.
Democratic lawmakers have plans to introduce what’s known as a “red flag” bill, which would allow police of families to ask a court to temporarily remove guns from someone who might be a danger to the public or themselves.
House Bills 5364-5367, which would end the requirement for gun owners to have a concealed pistol license to carry concealed, passed out of committee Tuesday.
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