Michigan Democrats introduced legislation that would ban high capacity ammunition magazines.
Democratic state lawmakers on Thursday introduced legislation that would limit the capacity of ammunition magazines following the deadly mass shooting at Oxford High School.
The bills in the Michigan House and Senate would prohibit the sale or possession of magazines that hold more than 1o rounds of ammunition.
Ethan Crumbley, the 15-year-old accused of killing four students and wounding six others and a teacher at Oxford High School on Nov. 30, fired 30 rounds and possessed three 15-round magazines during the five-minute shooting spree.
“We all have a role to play when tragedy strikes and, as legislators, it’s our duty to strengthen public safety, and today we’re simply asking that the majority party of both chambers have a change of heart and give these bills a committee hearing,” Sen. Rosemary Bayer said in a statement. "We are not taking away anyone's guns. We are simply asking responsible gun owners to please speak up, call your legislators, and tell them that you support responsible gun ownership.”
Under the legislation, people who own a magazine that exceeds 10 rounds may keep it as long as they notify local law enforcement.
Law enforcement, military members, and people working in an armored cars would be exempt from the legislation.
Ammunition magazines have played a critical role in some previous mass shootings. During the massacre in Tucson, Ariz., that injured former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
, bystanders were able to intervene while the gunmen were reloading their magazines.
“The horrific mass shooting at Oxford High School has left a community devastated. It's important now, more than ever, to pass lifesaving gun laws to prevent these tragedies from happening again,” Sean Holihan, state legislative director at the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said in a statement. “The time it takes a shooter to reload their weapon can be critical in enabling victims to escape and law enforcement or others to intervene. We saw this in Tucson, Arizona in 2011, when the gunman who shot Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and 18 others stopped to reload his weapon and was tackled by a bystander. The bills being introduced today will help reduce gun violence in the state and protect Michigan families. We applaud the legislators who are stepping up in the face of tragedy.”
Under state law, residents can purchase semiautomatic firearms with high-capacity magazines without a background check or sales record.
Passing the legislation won’t easy. The Senate and House are controlled by Republicans, who have resisted gun control measures in the past.
“For years now, we have stood up at press conferences after proactively introducing legislation that might help stem the growing tide of gun violence that continues to impact our families and communities,” Rep. Brenda Carter, D-Pointiac, said. “Sadly, the recent tragedy at Oxford High School is another reminder of an epidemic that isn’t going to change until we do something about it. We cannot wait any longer. We must come together and work to pass commonsense gun legislation so that no one else has to experience the pain of burying a child lost to gun violence.”
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