Some democratic state lawmakers want universal background checks for all people looking to own a firearm. They plan to introduce bills in the House and Senate.
Bill sponsor, Rep. Brenda Carter (D-Pontiac) said at a press conference that lawmakers must take the issue of gun violence seriously.
“What happens to our young people, what happens to our seniors, what happens in our nation, is affected by our inability to move legislation like what we have here today forward,” she said.
The bills waiting to be introduced in the state House and Senate would require universal background checks for anyone trying to buy a firearm. It would include all firearm sales by any seller. Right now the law only requires checks for people buying pistols by any seller.
Bill sponsor, Sen. Rosemary Bayer (D-Beverly Hills) said she’s gotten pushback on the legislation from people worried their guns would be taken away. Bayer said in an interview that that’s not what this would do.
“This is a common sense, check to make sure that you’re the person, that you’re okay, that you are who you say you are, you’re not a criminal and you’re not going to be at risk to yourself,” she said. “So, it’s permission, more than anything else.”
Opponents of the checks also call them unnecessary and ineffective.
Other bills in the state Legislature aimed at curbing gun violence have yet to even get a committee hearing. Those include “Red Flag Bills," which would allow law enforcement or a family member to seek a court order to take away someone’s firearms for certain period of time if that person is a risk to himself or others.