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Extreme risk protection orders up for Senate vote this week

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The Legislature could adopt the final bills in a gun safety package this week and send them to Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

The bills would allow courts to issue emergency orders to temporarily seize guns from people deemed a risk to themselves or others. Last week, Whitmer signed bills to require universal background checks for gun sales and to require storing guns where they can’t be accessed by children.

Senator Rosemary Bayer(D-Keego Harbor) said during an online news conference Monday that goal is not only to prevent mass shootings, but also gun-related accidents and suicides.

“Firearm suicide rates are climbing in a terrifying way,” she said. “It is way past time to get this situation under control and we are finally, finally, finally actually taking some of those first steps.”

Whitmer signed a new law last week to require gun owners to lock up firearms where children can’t access them. Also, she signed a law to require universal background checks for gun sales.

Representative Brenda Carter (D-Pontiac) said there is still a lot more to do.

“We are not stopping,” she said. Her plans include getting funding for a public information campaign on the new gun laws.

“We must work together to educate every parent about the safe storage requirements, and get them access to gun locks and gun lock boxes,” she said. “Schools and day cares should be informing parents about these rules now.”

At the same time, gun rights groups have filed a lawsuit to block the new gun laws. The lawsuit filed in the Michigan Court of Claims by Great Lakes Gun Rightsand Michigan Open Carry says the opponents of the bills were not given sufficient opportunities to offer committee testimony.

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Rick Pluta is the managing editor for the Michigan Public Radio Network.
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