Michigan Democrats push to expand background checks for gun sales

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Posted at 3:39 PM, May 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 15:39:27-04

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Democrats on Monday renewed their push to expand background checks to cover all gun sales, citing loopholes that allow online and private transactions to go undetected.

Bills introduced in the Republican-led Legislature would subject the sale of rifles, not just handguns, to background checks under state law.

Federal law requires background checks in Michigan when firearms are bought from licensed dealers but does not cover transactions between unlicensed sellers and buyers — which gun-control advocates have long sought to address.

Democrats pointed to polls in which more than eight in 10 Americans have supported expanded background check requirements in the wake of mass shootings.

“They are overwhelmingly telling us to do this, to fix this problem. So hiding our heads in the sand or some folks in the Legislature hiding their heads in the sand is really irresponsible at best,” said Sen. Rosemary Bayer of Beverly Hills.

The legislation is likely to die, however, as have similar bills introduced every two-year session since at least 2013. GOP lawmakers generally oppose gun-control efforts.