Democrats in positions of state power obtained — or gotten once again — in last year’s midterm elections are continuing to take action to enact new protections around firearms, even as such action at the federal level remains mired behind hurdles like what is now the Republican control of the House.
The Michigan state House, which Democrats lead along with that state’s Senate, has approved new provisions demanding universal background checks for private purchases of long guns, as they’re known. Federally licensed dealers are already broadly required to undertake such checks, and for any sellers, such checks were already demanded under rules in the state for private purchases of handguns.
Democratic state Rep. Jaime Churches, who was a sponsor of the newly approved legislation, had particularly memorable comments on the push that moved forward in the chamber. “This package will not take anything away from gun owners,” Churches said. “It will merely be an inconvenience to you, the same way you inconvenience my curriculum, so I have to teach my kids survival.” Churches is a former teacher.
Besides their legislative control in both chambers, which is new following the 2022 midterms, Democrats also hold the role of governor in Michigan, no matter the Republican vitriol consistently directed — even from Donald Trump — towards Gretchen Whitmer, the incumbent, who won another term last year. Whitmer defeated Republican nominee Tudor Dixon by double digits… which didn’t stop Dixon from later appearing on Fox and purporting to provide ostensible tips on activism to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who unlike Dixon has won in the relevant general election.
Although Republicans like to claim that restrictions on guns are ineffective, they’re wrong. The shooter who attacked an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, obtained a rifle he used in the attack legally. Different laws could’ve meant the massacre didn’t happen. Over a dozen other states already have rules demanding universal background checks for purchases of firearms, so enacting such a thing in Michigan wouldn’t be that out of the ordinary. The Democratic leadership in Michigan’s state government makes the newly approved provisions eventually becoming law seem likely.
Image: Gage Skidmore/ Creative Commons