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Tipsheet

Whitmer Signs Gun Control Bills Into Law

AP Photo/Al Goldis

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (MI) signed two gun control bills into law this week in the aftermath of a shooting at Michigan State University. 

According to The Detroit News, the bills are the “most significant firearm restrictions Michigan has enacted in almost 30 years.” The laws will expand background checks and impose storage standards for guns and ammunition that are kept in homes with children. 

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Whitmer signed the bills into law at Michigan State University, where three students were killed after a gunman opened fire on the campus in February. The suspect, Anthony McRae, 43, was found by police dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound (ABC News):

The first of the two new laws would require anyone who does not have a gun license to undergo a federal national instant criminal background check before purchasing a gun, according to the legislation.

"Universal background checks will help keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals, domestic abusers and people on terrorism watch lists and no-fly lists," Whitmer said Thursday at a signing ceremony at Michigan State University.

[..]

The second law introduces new safe storage requirements, aiming to ensure children do not have access to guns and ammunition being stored at home.

Gun owners who live with minors who could access their firearms will now be required to store the firearm in a locked box or container or lock the firearm with a locking device that renders it inoperable by any individual other than the owner or an authorized user, according to the legislation.

Gun owners who enter other premises where a minor is located and leave their firearm unattended in a vehicle must store the firearm in a locked box or container in the vehicle, or keep the firearm unloaded and lock the firearm with a locking device that is properly engaged to render the firearm inoperable by any individual other than the owner or an authorized user, according to the legislation.

An individual could face misdemeanor charges punishable by up to 93 days in prison, a fine of up to $500 or both, if they fail to safety secure their firearm and a minor obtains it and possesses it in a public place or possesses it in the presence of another person in a careless, reckless or threatening manner, according to the legislation.

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Reportedly, the first legal challenge against the legislation was made on Thursday by pro-Second Amendment groups. The groups sued the state legislature for failing to provide the groups with enough time to testify in front of the committees who drafted the laws. 

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