FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Progress Michigan
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Contact: Jessica Tramontana, firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-6302
Republican Senators work to buy a lawsuit on the taxpayers’ dime
LANSING – Today all three Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to report Senate Bill 63, the “Michigan Nullification Act,” out of committee and to recommend it for immediate effect. This vote came after Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker and Sen. Steve Bieda, the only attorneys on the committee, expressed numerous concerns about the bill’s constitutionality.
“It’s sad that Republican politicians are more interested in inviting lawsuits from the federal government than working on behalf of Michigan’s middle class families,” said Zack Pohl, Executive Director of Progress Michigan. “The fact is, smart gun violence prevention laws like universal background checks enjoy widespread public support, including from gun owners and NRA members.”
During testimony, Sen. Jones repeatedly interrupted a woman who reminded the committee of the threat that gun violence presents to Americans’ right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, going so far as to claim that guns have nothing to do with mass murders.
Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker expressed her desire to get a firm answer from the Legislative Services Bureau on the bill’s constitutionality before a vote. Despite not receiving one, Sen. Schuitmaker voted to report the bill out of committee and to recommend it for immediate effect. The vote came after the committee also heard an open admission from Steve Dulan, attorney for the Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners, that SB 63 would likely be struck down by the courts but it would be an “important assertion of state sovereignty.”
“The irresponsibility of Republican politicians this morning was striking, but not surprising,” continued Pohl. “Michigan lawmakers should be focused on creating jobs and investing in our K-12 schools. This radical bill is yet another distraction from Republicans who are more interested in serving out-of-state special interests than Michigan families.”
A poll commissioned by Mayors Against Illegal Guns and conducted by Republican strategist Frank Luntz found 82% of the public, and 74% of NRA members, support universal background checks for anyone attempting to purchase a gun. See the poll here.