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Michigan lawmakers could discuss "red flag" gun law before end of year


State Democrats are hoping to focus on changes to the state’s gun laws as the year winds down. Lansing lawmakers only have three weeks of session planned before the end of the year.

The bills were introduced back in February. There are House and Senate versions – and so far neither chamber has given the bills a committee hearing.

They would allow spouses, family members, and others to petition a court to remove a person’s firearms if they think the person is a danger to himself or others.

Bill sponsor Senator Rosemary Bayer (D-Beverly Hills) says just getting a committee hearing would be a great first step.

“We have a lot of problems with gun violence and it’s time for us to start moving forward,” she said.

A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) says he is willing to consider the so called red flag bills – but he has not decided on a specific date yet.

Republicans have historically been reluctant to take up bills that would limit access to firearms. Similar bills have died in the past.

Bayer says these types of laws are what the people of Michigan want.

“Now that the polls are so strongly in favor of this, this is the right time," she said. "And it just shows that we’re reacting to what the people are ready for now.”

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Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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