LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — In light of last week’s shooting in Oxford, the Michigan Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention Caucus announced the introduction of four bills to the state Legislature that aim to prevent future gun violence and tragedies.
Senate Bills 785 and 786 and House Bills 5627 and 5628 would prohibit selling or possessing a magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition, beginning on Jan. 1, 2023.
Under the proposed legislation, a person who violates this prohibition would be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail with a potential maximum fine of $500. A subsequent offense would be a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison with a potential fine of up to $5,000.
A person who possessed such a magazine before the effective date could keep the magazine if they report owning the magazine to the local law enforcement agency.
Those exempted include law enforcement officers, members of the armed forces and individuals working in an armored car would be exempted.
“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,” state Sen. Rosemary Bayer, D-Beverly Hills, 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,” Rep. Tyrone Carter, D-Detroit, said.
In previous mass shootings, the time it takes the shooter to reload their magazine has proven to be a critical time for bystanders to step in to stop the violence, bill sponsors said. During the massacre in Tuscon, Arizona, which injured former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and in a Thousand Oaks, California mass shooting, heroic bystanders were only able to intervene and stop the shooter when they reloaded 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,” said Sean Holihan, state legislative director at the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “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.”
According to the Gun Violence Archive, 2021 has had more K-12 school shootings with at least one injury or death than the three previous years.