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MI Senate GOP rebuffs gun control vote

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Michigan Capitol Building

The legislation has been sitting in a Senate committee for nearly 11 months. Democrats used a surprise procedural maneuver to get the bills to the Senate floor.

State Senate Democrats tried to force a floor vote on gun safety bills Wednesday, one day after a school shooting in Texas left 19 students and two teachers dead.

The bills would require that firearms are safely stored and punish adults who leave a gun where it can be accessed by a minor. The legislation has been sitting in a Senate committee for nearly 11 months. Democrats used a surprise procedural maneuver to get the bills to the Senate floor.

Democratic Senator Rosemary Bayer said it’s been six months since the school shooting in Oxford, where four students were killed. Her district includes Oxford.

“This is urgent,” said Bayer. “Every day we don’t take action, we are choosing guns over children.”

Republican Senator Ken Horn opposed the effort. He said it’s too soon after the Texas tragedy to debate gun measures.

“They don’t give a flying frog what we do here in the Senate,” he said. “Right now, they’re not paying attention to us. It’s way too early to assign bill numbers to their grief.”

Democratic state Senator Curtis Hertel said the bills have been languishing for nearly a year during which there have been other school shootings.

“So if today is not the day to act, then is tomorrow the day to act?” he asked. “Is next week the day to act? And is next month the day to act? When is that day? At what point are we supposed to just realize that nothing is not an option?”

On a party-line vote, Republicans were able to return the bills to the Senate Government Operations Committee. The bills were introduced in June of last year.

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