Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin, a Democrat, introduced legislation this week to require gun owners to store firearms safely. Last month, a school shooting in Oxford, which is in the district Slotkin represents, left four students dead.
Slotkin is calling her legislation the “Safe Guns, Safe Kids Act,” and it requires gun owners to secure firearms out of reach of children if there is a possibility the child could access them. Penalty for failing to comply would include up to five years prison time for parents whose child injures themselves or others or uses the firearm to carry out a crime.
Prosecutors in the Oxford school shooting case say the shooter’s father purchased the gun that was used in the incident, and his parents gave the handgun to their son as an early Christmas present.
As a result, the parents each are facing four counts of involuntary manslaughter after being accused of giving their son unrestricted access to the weapon he allegedly used to carry out the shooting.
Slotkin spoke to CNN about the incident: “What really stood out in Oxford was the role that they parents played,” she said. “We came up with this bill, building on good work that others have done – both in the state of Michigan and also federally – and created a bill that would make it against the law for a person to keep an unsecured firearm if it’s reasonable the child could access that firearm.”
Slotkin’s legislation was introduced just one day after the nine-year anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
President Joe Biden released a set of executive actions earlier this year with the goal of taking certain guns away from criminals while also assigning resources into community violence prevention programs.
The orders included increasing background checks for certain models of guns, regulating pieces that are used to modify pistols, and restricting accessibility to what are known as “ghost guns,” which can be made using parts and instructions found online. He also created ideal “red flag” laws that states can pass. For now, Slotkin is unsure of whether Republicans will sign onto her legislation.
ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG
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