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State Democrats Moving Quick on Platform Policies, Including Gun Reform

The Michigan State Legislature has been working fast to push through Democratic platforms after four years of waiting for control. The past three weeks have seen major policy plans voted on and passed through both chambers.

One bill package that was not voted on in the House, but will soon, is the 11-bill package on gun reform. A key pillar of the Democrats’ platform, the bills were fast tracked following the shooting at Michigan State University. After the Senate passed them last week, the House can do so any time.

The 11-bill package would mandate storage standards for firearms in homes where children are present, expand criminal background check requirements for gun purchases and permit a red flag law to allow guns to be taken away from people deemed a risk to themselves and others.


These were all ideas pushed by Democrats for years, and now with a slim majority, they are pushing them through the Capitol. Republicans have little ability to stop them but hope there’s room for compromise.

“I think there is,” said Rep. John Roth, Republican from Grand Traverse County. “But there’s no negotiations right now.”

Rep. Roth says he has offered ideas, like aligning several state laws with the federal law.

“If you’ve ever had a gun crime, you don’t get a pistol. I support that and they’re not even going to entertain it,” said Roth. “They’ve got their bills and they’re not asking for support or even any kind of amendment or anything to fix them.”


Just one of the 11 bills in the package received any Republican support in the Senate, a bill that would remove sales tax from gun safety items.

“I’d like to talk compromise. Let’s talk about this but they suspended the rules,” said Rep. Tom Kunse, Republican from Clare.

The Democrats’ majority is so narrow that they can’t afford to lose a single vote, even if you are sick. One representative tested positive for COVID, another is very sick with a different illness, and they were both in attendance. To avoid being near anybody else, the pair were up in the gallery because the Democrats needed their vote now. It just goes to show how fast they are moving these things through the legislative process, a little faster than some Republicans would like.

“This term it’s going to committee and going to the house floor on the same day for a vote,” said Roth. “That’s not transparency and I don’t appreciate it. That’s not how this is supposed to be done.”


The Democrats came into the year with six platforms to attack immediately, gun control being one, and they have have done so swiftly, by expediting the process. They are technically staying within the rules but not quite following decorum.

“When you limit testimony, when you do this, it just sends the wrong message,” said Kunse. “It says that, ‘Hey we have a weak argument so let’s slam it through before anyone can prove us wrong.’”

The gun reform laws do have a committee hearing Wednesday morning and then can be voted on anytime after that.

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