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Gov. Whitmer signs 'red flag' bills into law

The bills will create extreme risk protection orders that would allow courts to remove firearms from individuals the court deems a danger to themselves or others.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-Michigan) signed 'red flag' bills into law on Monday, establishing extreme risk protection orders that would allow courts to remove firearms from individuals that the court deems are dangerous to themselves or others.

In order to do so, the court must be petitioned by law enforcement, a mental health profession, or someone closely connected to the individual.

"In this country and only in the United States of America, guns are the number one killer of our kids," Whitmer said. "We must take action and today I'm proud to say that here in Michigan, we are."

It capped off the last of three major priorities advocates hoped to pass in the immediate aftermath of the Michigan State University mass shooting in February. The other two, universal background checks for gun purchases and 'safe storage' laws that created penalties for those leaving firearms where they can be accessed by minors, were both signed earlier this year.

Today's signing rounded out three months branded by grief turned into action.

"I refuse to be another statistic in the American education system," said one speaker at a rally at the Michigan Capitol days after the shooting. "And I refuse to wait until others come to realize that all those victims - they were worthy of life. You guys are worthy of life. I am worthy of life."

But for some, they've made clear that the fight is not yet over.

"It is amazing that Michigan is taking the steps forward," MSU student Charlotte Plotzke said at a Grand Rapids rally in April. "But, again, there is more work to be done. Across the nation and in this state, we need to ban assault weapons. We need to take further precautions, we do."

For others just getting started, it's a fight to push back on what they see as laws that infringe on gun owners' due process rights.

"We believe that these measures are not going to make Michigan safer," Great Lakes Gun Rights Executive Director Brenden Boudreau said. "We believe that what this is going to do is make it harder for law-abiding Michiganders to practice their rights and their rights of self defense."

"I think that the Michigan legislature should be prepared for legal challenges to these to these laws," Boudreau said.

The bills did not have the two-thirds majority needed in the legislature to take immediate effect, and will therefore take effect 90 days after the end of the current session in December.

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