Lawmakers debate gun legislation after Oxford school shooting
It didn’t take long for Michigan’s deadly school shooting to spark debate in Lansing.
LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - Last week’s deadly school shooting in Oxford has reignited a debate in Lansing about gun safety.
On Thursday, Senate Democrats pressed Senate Republicans for change.
“Where is the will of the majority party to do something?” asked Sen. Dayna Polehanki, (D) 7th State Senate District.
Democrats argue more needs to be done to protect students. Republicans have concerns about freedom.
“The problem is the human condition,” said Sen. Ed McBroom, (R) 38th State Senate District. “Bad people, sinful people, people who are willing to do violence.”
“Anytime anyone brings up any ideas to help stop gun violence and put safety measures in place, we hear outcries of freedom,” said Sen. Mallory McMorrow, (D) 13th State Senate District. “We hear that it is a right. That it shall not be infringed. But what about the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?”
On Thursday, Senator McBroom said that he’s willing to support some change, but does have concerns about freedom.
This year, both sides of the aisle have introduced new gun legislation. Democrats want to create penalties for gun owners that leave a firearm where it could be easily accessed by a minor. Republicans want to reduce the cost of concealed pistol permits. While Democrats want to expand gun-free zones, Republicans are looking to create new exemptions for them.
“We have to respect what it takes to have freedom,” said McBroom. “Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, these things endanger people to some degree too.”
“Would tougher laws have prevented this 15 year old from getting access to his father’s gun? I don’t know,” said McMorrow. ”But I do know, that doing nothing didn’t stop this from happening.”
Meanwhile some Republicans argue, the initially days after the Oxford shooting is not the time to discuss new laws.
“Those parents in particular, they need time to mourn,” said Sen. Ken Horn, (R) 32nd State Senate District.
“Every time it’s not the time for the past 22 years since Columbine,” said McMorrow.
Senate Democrats have said new gun legislation will be introduced about magazine capacity. However, Republicans hold a 22-16 majority in the senate. It’s unclear if any bills will be considered in the final six session days of the year.
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