Universal Background Checks For Gun Sales Approved By Democratic Legislators

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Democrats in the Michigan state Senate have provided another round of approval for legislation that would impose what are known as universal background checks covering purchases of guns in the state. Although amid an absence of federal action some individual states have already imposed their own rules demanding such checks, certain long guns have been able to be obtained without a background check in Michigan if sold privately.

Pistols were already subject to such requirements, and firearms obtained through federally licensed dealers, whose remaining business records became an apparent point of contention during a recent House hearing about pieces of equipment known as pistol braces, are subject to required checks. Members of the other chamber of the Michigan state legislature already approved their own measure for universal background checks, indicating they’d be likely to get behind any updated proposal from the state Senate, and Governor Gretchen Whitmer has already indicated support for these exact moves. Whitmer is a Democrat, and both chambers of the legislature are controlled by Democrats — unified control newly established in last year’s midterm elections, when residents of Michigan also approved an amendment to their state Constitution protecting rights to an abortion.

Also recently passed by the state Senate in Michigan was a measure establishing rules for the secured storage of various firearms, with accompanying criminal consequences for incidents in which minors obtain the firearms, not to mention instances where they then injure or kill somebody. Even a minor just obtaining the firearm could lead to months in jail, per max consequences. Those details seem to rather directly refute the idea that Democrats are largely impacting so-called responsible gun owners, since individuals effectively locking away their weapons wouldn’t have a problem.

At the national level, figures like Democratic Reps. Ted Lieu (Calif.) and Adam Schiff (Calif.) have rallied support for gun safety measures like imposing universal background checks for purchases of firearms and a ban on assault weapons, although GOP control of the House is among the hurdles to enacting these ideas. State Senators in Michigan also passed measures that would establish a procedure for obtaining what might be termed red-flag orders against certain individuals suspected of possible danger to themselves or others and accessing firearms. The orders would temporarily restrict such access if approved in court. Meanwhile, Americans continue to face the threat of gun violence as exemplified in incidents like the recent shooting at a private school in Nashville, Tennessee, where three adults and three children were killed. Republicans like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis are moving the other direction on policy. He has signed a measure allowing Floridians to carry concealed firearms without a permit.