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First Set of Commonsense Gun Safety Bills Signed into Law

LANSING – Governor Gretchen Whitmer this morning signed into law the first set of commonsense gun safety laws to reduce violence and save lives passed by the Michigan legislature.

The murders of four students and the wounding of seven others at Oxford High School in 2021 and the murders of three and wounding of seven Michigan State University students this past February made clear the need for state laws to protect Michigan’s school campuses and communities.

On the campus of Michigan State University, the governor signed six bills that will require universal background checks for all gun sales in Michigan; require safe storage of guns and ammunition in homes; and lower the costs for the purchase of firearm safety devices.

“I want to thank Governor Whitmer and the state legislature for taking the lead and enacting much-needed, commonsense gun safety laws,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “Michigan students and staff are safer because of these new laws. That said, we have more work that needs to be done, particularly with respect to enacting of extreme risk protection orders legislation, which passed the House of Representatives today.”

In March, the State Board of Education adopted a resolution on safe school environments that appreciated the state legislature for “holding (committee) hearings on commonsense gun safety legislation and absorbing the heartbreaking testimony from families and young people whose lives have been devastated by the use of firearms,” and calling for the governor and state legislature to enact safer gun laws. Five months earlier, the State Board of Education had passed a similar resolution to urge commonsense gun reform from the legislature and had lifted up results of a summer survey that showed wide support of Michiganders of many different groups regarding safe storage and universal background checks, among others.

“I applaud Governor Whitmer and the legislature for answering the call from Michiganders across our state to take action and address the tragedy that gun violence has on our schools and communities,” said State Board of Education President Dr. Pamela Pugh.

“Today, I was honored to stand with the governor as she signed commonsense gun violence prevention bills into law,” said State Senator Stephanie Chang, who chairs the Senate Civil Rights, Judiciary, and Public Safety Committee where four of the bills signed today were referred and took testimony. “Gun violence survivors, students, parents, advocates, law enforcement, faith leaders and health professionals have for too many years been demanding action to save lives and keep our communities safe. Our universal background check law and safe storage law are well researched, strong, and impactful policies that I'm proud to be a part of."

State Senator Rosemary Bayer, who represented the Oxford community at the time of the mass shooting at its high school and sponsored the safe storage bill, is grateful to her colleagues, and said: "Finally, there is a tiny stitch to begin healing my heart, broken from the Oxford school shootings, the MSU school shootings, and every injury or death from accidental shootings of or by children. Finally, we are doing our job, passing legislation, taking our first steps to manage this out-of-control gun violence situation in Michigan. I’m grateful for the work of my colleagues on this issue for years, for my team and the policy team who have worked so hard to get it done, and to the governor and her team for making it possible for these to become law. Let’s celebrate, and then get back to work on the next step!”