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State Democrats reaffirm plans to pass gun measures following MSU shooting

A gun display case at Central Texas Gun Works in Austin, Texas.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr.
A gun display case at Central Texas Gun Works in Austin, Texas.

Following Monday night’s mass shooting at Michigan State University, state Democrats say they’re “prepared to get the job done” and pass common sense gun laws.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks, whose daughter is an MSU student, said she’s heartbroken over the shooting.

“I was texting her and communicating with her throughout the evening, and I felt like every parent of a student at MSU filled with dread and horror as we watched what was happening in their community where they should feel safe,” Brinks said.

Brinks joined Democratic state Senator Rosemary Bayer, the chair of the Legislative Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention Caucus, at a press conference Tuesday.

Together they reaffirmed the party’s commitment to passing common sense gun laws.

“Whether it’s mass shootings, homicides, suicide, we know there is not one bill or one policy that can make all of that go away overnight. But we do know that there is a culture of violence that we can make a direct impact on and we can act to improve the lives of the people of our state and to prevent more tragedies like this from happening in the future,” Brinks said.

While Brinks couldn’t say whether tougher gun restrictions would have prevented Monday’s shooting, she said the legislature can still take action.

“There are things that we can do to prevent gun violence and we simply cannot have a legislature that continues to ignore those issues and under our leadership we will not have a legislature that ignores this conversation,” Brinks said.

With Democrats holding the majority in both the state House and Senate and the state grappling with its second mass shooting in 15 months, Brinks said the bills will be introduced as soon as possible.

“We were already prepared to introduce legislation on this topic because, unfortunately, this is not a unique situation and so this was already well underway,” Brinks said.

Democrats are still working on the details but bills will likely include measures on safe storage, universal background checks and extreme risk protection orders. Brinks said these common sense gun laws have widespread support from multiple legislators and the governor's office.

“We are now in a position to make real change in the legislature and we welcome anybody working with us who’s willing to put the health and wellbeing of our constituents first and to have a meaningful conversation about this and to work with us to pass these common sense bills,” Brinks said.

Meanwhile, Republican Senate Minority Leader Aric Nesbitt released the following statement response to Monday night’s mass shooting:

“As a parent, you shudder at the very possibility of having to endure the distinct fear, pain, and helplessness that the Spartan community experienced last night. Unfortunately, these unimaginable and irrational acts of evil have become more commonplace in our society, leaving parents and community leaders desperately searching for ways to prevent these senseless attacks on the innocent. It is my hope that we can come together to find and develop solutions to keep our loved ones safe. My heart breaks for the victims and their families, and I pray they find comfort in the loving embrace of their family and friends.”