Republican Senators Sponsor "Michigan Firearms Freedom Act"

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A bill proposed by 13 Republican senators in Michigan would seek to sidestep any new potential federal regulations regarding guns by granting an exception to any such laws for firearms made in the state itself. The bill would also exempt ammunition and gun accessories that were made in Michigan from federal regulation, according to reports by the Detroit Free Press and other media outlets on Friday.

The bill is scheduled for consideration by a state Senate committee this coming Wednesday. Some legal experts have already stated that the bill, if passed, may well be more of a "symbolic" gesture by state Republicans than a binding piece of legislation, according to the Detroit Free Press report.

Here is some of the key information that emerged regarding this proposed new bill on Friday.

* Michigan radio station WKZO reported on Friday that State Senator Phil Pavlov, R-St.Clair, who is sponsoring this latest bill, also introduced a similar bill in the state Legislature four years ago.

* House Bill 5232, as it was known then, stalled after encountering opposition from state Democrats, who held a legislative majority at the time.

* The Associated Press noted that the new bill introduced on Thursday, titled the "Michigan Firearms Freedom Act," is reportedly closely related to legislation that had been previously introduced in Missouri.

* According to a website that tracks copies of the "Firearms Freedom Act," some version of the bill has already been introduced in approximately 22 states. An additional eight states have already passed their own version of the bill, including Tennessee, Montana, Idaho, South Dakota, Wyoming, Alaska, Arizona, and Utah.

* Pavlov reportedly told the media on Thursday after the introduction of the bill that the legislation is meant not only to block any gun control mandates signed into law by President Barack Obama in the coming months, but also to assert states' rights, according to the Detroit News.

* The Detroit News report stated that "the bill lays out a detailed argument" revolving around the "9th and 10th Amendments" to the U.S. Constitution. The bill's sponsors are claiming that those amendments "protect states' rights to regulate items not involved in interstate commerce."

* There are not currently any large gun manufacturers in Michigan, although Pavlov has reportedly noted that there are companies making accessories for weapons in the state that would fall under the parameters described in the bill.

* The Detroit Free Press reported that Pavlov's bill is also being sponsored by state Sens. Joanne Emmons, Dave Hildenbrand, Mike Nofs, Arlan Meekhof, Patrick Colbeck, Jim Marleau, Tom Casperson, Mike Green, Mark Jansen, John Proos, and Jack Brandenburg. Those 12 senators, along with Pavlov, represent approximately half of the Republicans' majority in the state Senate.

Vanessa Evans is a musician and freelance writer based in Michigan, with a lifelong interest in politics and public issues.

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