Watch: Michigan gov. signs gun reform bills into law

Bills establish universal background checks, safe storage

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan’s governor signed legislation into law Thursday morning that will establish universal background checks and safe storage for guns exactly two months after the Michigan State University shootings.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appeared in East Lansing on Thursday, April 13, to sign gun prevention legislation alongside advocates, students and lawmakers, officials said. You can watch the signing in the video player above.

More details: Michigan gun reform bills now law: What that means

The signing comes amid a push by Democratic state lawmakers to pass legislation aimed at decreasing gun violence in Michigan, particularly following the fatal mass shooting at Michigan State University in February. Several gun safety bills have been introduced by Democrats in the weeks after three MSU students were killed, including bills that would establish universal background checks for gun purchases, safe gun storage, red flag laws and more.

Red flag laws are facing an uphill battle in the state Legislature, but Democrats have been able to use their new majorities in the state House and Senate to approve universal background checks and safe gun storage. Gov. Whitmer has said she will sign the gun reform legislation that makes it to her desk.

The majority of Michigan voters support gun law reforms in the wake of the Michigan State campus shootings.

A March survey found that 87.8% of Michigan voters support passage of a law requiring any person purchasing any type of gun from anyone else to go through a background check, including 77.5% of voters who strongly support it. More than 77% of voters who identified as Republicans support the background check law, including 77.8% of Republican gun owners.

Nearly 80% of Michigan voters support passage of a safe storage gun law that would create penalties for individuals that fail to lock up their guns at home or keep them out of the hands of minors. About 74.5% of Michigan voters support establishing red flag laws that would allow law enforcement to temporarily take guns away from a person deemed a risk to themselves or others by a court.

A Michigan Senate committee has voted to advance a bill package of red flag gun laws, though the Senate has not voted yet. It’s unlikely the package will receive any support from Michigan Republicans, meaning all Democratic lawmakers would be required to vote yes for the package to succeed -- and it’s unclear if that will happen.

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.