Michigan Approves Gun Laws on Campus Where 8 Were Shot

Whitmer signs background check, safe storage legislation
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 13, 2023 5:25 PM CDT
Students Cheer New Gun Laws on Campus Where 8 Were Shot
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, seated at right, signs a package of gun bills Thursday in East Lansing.   (Matthew Dae Smith/Lansing State Journal via AP)

Anyone who wants to buy a gun in Michigan will have to undergo a background check, and gun owners will be required to safely store all firearms and ammunition when around minors under new laws signed Thursday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The signing took place on the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing, where a gunman killed three students and wounded five others two months ago, the AP reports. Flanked by students and gun safety advocates, Whitmer, a graduate of MSU, told the more than 100 people in attendance: "Gun violence is a scourge that is unique to this country. We don't have to live like this and today, we are showing we are not going to anymore."

The legislation is part of a sweeping 11-bill gun safety package that was introduced in the weeks following the MSU shooting but was predominately drafted after the 2021 Oxford High School shooting in which four students were killed. The bills saw little movement at the time with Republicans in control of the Legislature. Gun safety advocates, who poured into the state Capitol on Thursday afternoon, cheered loudly from the gallery above the House chamber as Democrats voted to approve red flag laws. The Senate passed the measures in March but will need to give final approval on several amendments before the bills are sent to Whitmer. The Democratic governor has said she would sign the package if it gets to her desk.

Under the legislation signed Thursday, criminal background checks will be required for anyone buying a rifle or shotgun; they had previously only been required for purchases of pistols. The safe storage bills will require owners to keep unloaded firearms in a locked storage box or container when it is "reasonably known that a minor is or is likely to be present on the premises." The laws will go into effect next year. Safe storage requirements gained momentum after Ethan Crumbley, who was 15 years old at the time, killed four classmates and wounded seven other people at Oxford High School. Afterward, he admitting using a gun that was not locked in a box at home and had been purchased for him by his father. His parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, have been charged with involuntary manslaughter for the acts of Ethan, who pleaded guilty to terrorism and first-degree murder charges.

(More gun control stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.