2019 felony arrest of MSU shooter was reduced to misdemeanor with plea deal

FOX 2 has learned Michigan State University shooter Anthony McRae was armed with two handguns and additional magazines stored in his backpack.

The information comes as our state mourns the three students murdered in the shooting Monday - Brian Fraser, Arielle Anderson, and Alexandria Verner and the five others still hospitalized.

Lansing Police Department body camera footage captured the 2019 arrest of Michigan State University shooter Anthony McRae.

He was charged with carrying a concealed weapon without a concealed pistol license — a five-year felony that would’ve kept him from passing a background check to buy a firearm even if he did no jail time.

But that felony was reduced to a misdemeanor in a plea deal. 

Related: 'He'd be in jail still': MSP Lt. Shaw argues existing laws could have prevented Michigan State shooting

"If you are convicted of that five-year felony, you are a prohibited person meaning your name goes into the database that the feds keep called the National Instant Criminal Background Check system," said Steve Dulan. "And when you go to buy a gun at a dealer (you would be denied)."

Even so, Steve Dulan, a lawyer and board member of the Michigan Coalition of responsible gun owners, says McRae likely would’ve been able to get a gun illegally on the streets.

The frequency that mass shootings happen in our country outpaces every other country in the world," said State Rep. Ranjeev Puri (D-Canton).

Democrats in Lansing plan to introduce at least three gun control bills they say will help keep the public safe —  including red flag laws, background checks for private firearm sales, and safe storage laws that would require gun owners to keep their firearms unloaded and locked in a safe.

More: Gun law reform questions raised anew in wake of Michigan State mass shooting tragedy

"We've renewed this call, time and time again, and have been told by the previous (Republican) majority that 'it's not the time' to talk about these measures that would reduce gun violence," said State Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield).

"The only people who would be affected by these laws are the law-abiding person who is not going to be a threat anyway," said Dulan. "They are not going to stop someone who is truly intent on committing crime.

"Places where people can't shoot back, are magnates for these people who want to do these terrible crimes."

Chad King is the Midwestern region director of the National African-American Gun Association and founder of the Black Bottom Gun Club.

"I sincerely sympathize with the students, staff, faculty, and all the families that were impacted by this horrific tragedy," said King.

He says lawmakers have an opportunity to address the root causes of violence.

"If we are not dealing with the ecological issues in a holistic sense, and dealing with those root causes, at a holistic level, then we're going to continue to see the expressions of violence, whether it's with a gun, with a vehicle, with a knife, or any other mode of attack," King said.

House and Senate Democrats were already going to introduce gun legislation but the MSU shooting has now accelerated that process.

Anthony McRae seen on a 2019 bodycam arrest.

Anthony McRae seen on a 2019 bodycam arrest.