After the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, last year, Michigan Democrats attempted to advance bills requiring secure storage of firearms and expanding background checks for gun buyers.
Six months before the elementary school shooting in Texas, there had been a shooting in Michigan at a high school near Detroit. This reinvigorated Democratic efforts to push Michigan gun reform laws.
But the gun bills were blocked by Republicans, who controlled both chambers of the state legislature.
Democrats in Michigan are now trying to take action again, and may finally be able to.
During the midterm election in November 2022, the Democrats gained a majority in both chambers of the Michigan legislature.
It’s the first time Democrats have controlled Michigan’s state congress in nearly four decades.
It means Democrats now have a chance to reconsider the gun proposals that languished under Republican control.
It won’t be an easy road.
Michigan Democrats face fierce opposition in their efforts to change state gun laws.
Republicans consistently blocked bills aimed at expanding background checks and banning the large-capacity magazines frequently used in mass shootings.
Even relatively modest proposals, such as mandating safe storage of firearms or enacting a “red flag law” to allow courts to seize guns from those deemed to be dangerous, failed in the Republican-controlled legislature.
Now that there has been another devastating mass shooting in Michigan, there is a demand for immediate action.
Despite the urgent demands for action, Democrats still face significant challenges in changing gun laws.
At the federal level, Republicans now control the House of Republicans, making it easier for them to block gun safety bills. In Michigan, Democrats hold narrow majorities in both chambers of the state legislature, so party leaders will have little wiggle room as they attempt to enact new gun regulations.