Gun control bills in front of Michigan Senate as Democrats rally support
DETROIT (FOX 2) - In the weeks since the shooting at East Lansing, just outside the Michigan state capitol in Lansing, lawmakers have a crafted a package of bills that are meant to help prevent gun violence like we saw at MSU and Oxford.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel were joined by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Moms Demand Action, and No Future Without Today - the student-led initiative organized by Oxford survivors - to rally for support of the bills.
"I still remember her smiling and waving at me as she turned the other way unknowingly walking into the path of the shooter. That was the last time I saw her alive," No Future Without Today's co-vice president Maddie Johnson said.
The emotions ran high as the supporters rallied for the package of gun control bills now out of committee in the Michigan Senate.
"We don’t have to live like this and we will not live like this anymore," Whitmer said.
Read: Young mass shooting survivors urge state lawmakers for gun safety law package
The package focuses on safe storage, universal background checks, and so-called red flag protections -- which allow for the seizure of weapons if someone is deemed to be a threat to themselves or others, under certain circumstances.
Democratic leadership feels confident their proposals will mitigate gun violence
"We have heard the cries of parents whose children have been murdered due to gun violence yell and scream louder than anybody else out here," Mia Reed from Moms Demand Action said.
Giffords, herself a survivor of gun violence and an advocate for gun safety, showed her support in Lansing as well.
"I am fighting to make the country safer," she said.
More: Gun legislation enters the arena in Lansing
While Democrats celebrated the bills, Republican State Representative Gina Johnsen introduced her own bill - to allow law-abiding civilians to have weapons on campus. She thinks that could reduce threats and says the Democrats' plan adds up to legislation we don’t need.
"These new laws are not going to change a darn thing about what has happened. They won't fix any of these problems. It's a gross distraction and it's an insult to those who got hurt, those who died, the families who grieving over them. It's an insult to them," Johnsen said.
The Michigan Senate will likely vote on these new bills this week and send along to the House for consideration.