LANSING, Mich. (WLNS/WOOD) — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday passed bills to create a “red flag” protection order aimed at reducing gun violence.
The package of four bills passed along party lines with no debate or comment. They have already passed the Michigan House.
The measure creates the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act. Once signed into law, it will temporarily prohibit someone from having access to guns if a judge determines a person poses a threat to themselves or someone else.
During a ceremony ta Michigan State University last week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed into law seven more bills mandating safe storage and instituting universal background checks. She said she will sign the red flag legislation when it gets to her desk.
Republicans opposed all the new gun control measures, with the exception of a handful of GOP members going along with a pause on the sales tax of storage devices like gun safes.
Democrats argue the package of bills will make shootings like the one at Michigan State in February and at Oxford High School last year less likely. Republicans say the bills wouldn’t have stopped those shootings and infringe on the Second Amendment rights of gun owners.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel celebrated the Wednesday move from the Senate:
“This law will save lives,” Nessel said in a statement. “What is clear, after years of witnessing horrific gun violence across school campuses, places of worship, and elsewhere, is that some people simply should not have firearms. And often, whether the need to remove a person’s access to a firearm is acute or enduring, there are egregious and abundant warning signs. This law will allow concerned friends, family, and law enforcement to act in a way that prevents senseless gun violence and deaths in our state.”
Nessel said that if the red flag laws are challenged in court, she will defend them.
“When these laws are enacted, I will use every tool of my office to ensure Michigan residents are informed of these laws and that they will be vigorously enforced,” she said.
Barring court action, the gun bills will go into effect 90 days after the legislative session ends.