Next round of gun safety bills pose bigger challenge for Michigan Democrats

Michigan Democrats ran into few hurdles during their first round of legislating on gun safety bills, easily passing laws that mandate safe storage of firearms and expands background checks during gun purchases. 

A third law that deals with extreme risk protection orders or ‘red flag’ laws looks like it will clear the legislature after passing on a narrow vote in the state House. The first round of bills could be considered low-hanging fruit.

The next round of gun safety bills comes with risks. 

"It may take a little harder push for some of our activists gunfights activists on our side of the aisle when we go a little further," said Rep. Tyrone Carter (D-Detroit). "There's a few that have said you know that would cause them a lot of heartburn."

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Other laws that Democrats could consider in the realm of gun control include limiting the number of rounds that could be loaded into a magazine, require firearms be taken from those convicted of domestic violence, or even an assault weapons ban.

But broaching those laws comes with more potholes politically and may require more work among Democrats if not every lawmaker is on board. Due to the narrow majorities in both chambers, any state representatives or senators that balk at more gun safety proposals could risk the bills not passing. 

Democrats could attempt to reach across the aisle for Republican support - but it's not likely they'll find much support. 

Among the Democrats that had already expressed skepticism during the first round of bills was Rep. Kimberly Edwards of Eastpointe, who voiced concerns about giving a judge authority to remove someone's firearm.

Speaking on the House Judiciary Committee last week, Edwards said there wasn't enough data from other states about the impact of red flag laws and how they might be used in minority communities.  

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To quell those fears, the language in the bill was amended with more focus on due process as well as requiring an annual report of these of extreme risk protection orders.