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Know Michigan’s new gun laws that recently took effect

Democrats in the Michigan Legislature last year passed a trio of gun laws in the wake of the shooting at Michigan State University.

Those laws took effect last week.

We urge every gun owner in our area to familiarize themselves with the new laws to make sure they don’t run afoul of the law.

The new laws include:

— Universal background checks for all gun purchases.

— A so-called “red flag law” that allows courts to temporarily take guns away from individuals deemed a threat to themselves or others.

— A new requirement that guns be properly stored. Unattended weapons must now be kept unloaded and locked with a locking device or stored in a locked box or container if a minor is likely to be present on the premises. Those who fail to store their firearms in that manner could face criminal penalties if a minor gets their hands on the gun and displays it in a public place, injures themselves or others, or kills someone.

Democrats in Lansing, who currently control both chambers of the Legislature and the governor’s office, say they want to pass more gun laws.

Your state representatives need to hear from you if you think more is needed, what we have is enough or what we have is too much.

(Editor’s note: After this editorial was first published, the Associated Press reported that a Michigan man whose 2-year-old daughter shot herself in the head with his revolver last week had become the first person charged under the state’s new law requiring safe storage of guns. Michael Tolbert, 44, of Flint, pleaded not guilty Monday after being arraigned on nine felony charges, including single counts of first-degree child abuse and violation of Michigan’s gun storage law, said John Potbury, Genesee County’s deputy chief assistant prosecuting attorney. Tolbert’s daughter remained hospitalized Wednesday in critical condition from the Feb. 14 shooting, Potbury said. The child shot herself the day after Michigan’s new safe storage gun law took effect.)

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