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MI House of Representatives considers gun reform bills seeking to expand gun-free spaces

Bills introduced by state representatives include expanding gun-free zones to all buildings owned and leased by the state as well as election polling places.

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan legislature took further action on gun reform in the wake of last month's mass shooting at Michigan State University. 

A pair of bills, House Bills 4149 and 4150, introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives would prohibit both concealed and open carry of firearms in any building owned or leased by the state.

Representing much of MSU's East Lansing campus, State Representative Julie Brixie spoke to community members just days before introducing one of the bills, highlighting what she felt was a need for the measures.

"I wish that we had taken the issue of gun control seriously the first time a mass shooting had happened," Brixie said.

"It's clear that the thing you need most from me is meaningful legislation that's going to make our schools and our communities safer."

The bills follow a flurry of firearms reform introduced in the House in recent weeks. Other bills include prohibiting weapons within 100 feet of election day polling places, absentee vote drop boxes and locations where early voting takes place.

Gun rights advocates, however, have begun pushing back on measures they see as too extreme.

"Gun free zones are not safe," Great Lakes Gun Rights Executive Director Brenden Boudreau said. "They are dangerous and that's why we oppose them because what they do is they put a sign out front of these locations and say, 'These victims are disarmed here,' and criminals time and again target these areas because they know that they can go into these areas unhindered because there's no one there to stop them."

The bills have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.

The debate over gun reform legislation in the state likely to persist as state Democrats continue introducing legislation aimed at cracking down on state firearms laws.

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