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Gun reform package passes House, includes Oxford safe storage act

Posted at 3:40 AM, Jun 09, 2022

(WXYZ) — In mostly partisan fashion, the US House passed a package of bills focused on gun control called the "Protecting Our Kids Act."

The package included more than a handful of bills focused on raising the age to purchase certain guns to 21, preventing gun trafficking, untraceable firearms, safe gun storage, bump stocks, and large-capacity magazines.

One of the provisions in the package was a direct response to the tragic shooting at Oxford High School. It's received the backing of a new student-led organization, "No Future Without Today."

“Having been born out of a school shooting, we support many of the components of the Protect Our Kids Act,” said Dylan Morris, Executive Director of No Future Without Today.

Morris will soon be entering his senior year at Oxford High School. The organization of Oxford students is advocating for what they call sensible gun reform and mental health expansion.

“It's all about finding these solutions to prevent these tragedies that was saw in Oxford, Parkland, and Uvalde from happening again,” Morris said. "Our community is starving for changes. Our organization is up and launched and ready to make some change.”

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, a Democrat from Michigan's 8th District proposed one of the bills in the package in light of the Oxford tragedy. Her bill would require the safe storage of guns and imposes a five-year prison sentence if a child uses an unsecured gun to commit a crime.

“This isn't about whether someone gets to own a gun or not, it’s about responsible gun ownership,” Rep. Slotkin said. "I love going hunting every year but that doesn't mean that I'm against things like basic background checks or stopping someone who has a real mental break going on from getting a weapon.”

While the act passed the House it was mainly on partisan lines, with just 5 Republicans, including Fred Upton of Michigan, voting in favor.

Representative Lisa McClain, also a Republican from Michigan, voted no on the package. She is arguing instead to harden school security and focus on mental health.

“At the end of the day, we have a constitution and it’s the Second Amendment,” Rep. McClain said. "We need to address the person, the person is the problem.”

The package now faces an uphill battle in the Senate, where a small group of bipartisan legislators is negotiating. However, it’s unclear how much if any gun reform would make it through.

“Is there any compromise that could be made, specifically on gun reform?" 7 Action News Reporter Brett Kast asked Rep. McClain. "The guns aren’t the problem, the people behind the guns are the problem.”

“I think it's fair to say Democrats want a lot more and a lot of Republicans would prefer nothing, and the answer is probably going to be hopefully somewhere in the middle. That’s how our system is supposed to work,” Rep. Slotkin said. "Compromise is the way we move the needle and sometimes neither side wants to hear it, but that's what's needed right now."

"No Future Without Today" is holding a rally for gun reform this Saturday, marching from downtown Oxford to Oxford High School.