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School shooting in Oxford, Michigan: what are the gun laws in the state?

A tragic school shooting has left three dead in Oxford Michigan. What are the gun laws in Michigan and what can be done to ensure these tragic events end?

A tragic school shooting has left three dead in Oxford Michigan. What are the gun laws in Michigan and what can be done to ensure these tragic events end?
Matthew HatcherAFP

A tragic school shooting in Oxford Michigan has left three students, Tate Myre, 16, Hana St. Juliana, 14, and Madisyn Baldwin, 17, dead. Seven students and one teacher were also injured after the fifteen-year-old student armed with a semi-automatic rifle opened fire.

County Executive David Coulter said Tuesday that the shooter was arrested by the police and was being kept under suicide watch after being taken to into custody. Officials have reported that after this shooting they became aware that threats had been made on social media and the school district has decided to close all schools for the rest of the week.

In light of the events, Governor Gretchen Witmer has called for flags to be lowered and during a press conference said that her heart was “with the parents who had their children taken from them and with the entire Oxford community.”

How did he acquire the gun?

Late Tuesday, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard told the public that the father of the shooter had purchased the gun four days earlier. Officials have not released the name of the student and are still investigating to see if there were any other people involved and to identify the motive.

The question of whether the parent will be found criminally liable is still up in the air. Under Michigan law, the parent could be held liable if "any child under age 18 whose child violates a state firearm-related law while on school property or in a school vehicle, if the parent had custody of the child and: 1) knew the child would commit the violation; or 2) acted to further the violation." However, the Gifford Law Center highlights the vagueness and that it "does not seem to be used to hold individuals responsible for failing to secure a gun under their immediate control if it is accessed by a minor."

What are the gun laws in Michigan?

The Giffords Law Center gave Michigan a C grade after evaluating their gun laws. The state has outlawed automatic riffles and 

Background checks

One major gap in the legal code relates to background checks. A background check is not legally required when the sale of a gun between unlicensed individuals occurs.

Gun deaths

The majority of gun deaths, sixty percent, in Michigan are suicides. Giffords recorded 3,436 suicides involving a firearm between 2013 and 2017, equally around one death every thirteen hours.

Additionally, deaths related to guns are the second leading cause of death among children (ages one to seventeen) in Michigan.


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