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Trump takes the gloves off versus Kavanaugh accusers. Also on the Wednesday rundown: rural areas reap benefits from Medicaid expansion; a two-generation approach to helping young Louisiana parents; and a new documentary on the impact of climate change in North Carolina.

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Michigan Group: Guns are Linchpins of Orlando Massacre

Several pieces of Michigan legislation to tighten gun-purchase requirements are stalled. (Pixabay)
Several pieces of Michigan legislation to tighten gun-purchase requirements are stalled. (Pixabay)
June 14, 2016

LANSING, Mich. - Calls to toughen gun laws in Michigan and around the country are again renewed in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

In what's being called an act of terror, 50 people died and dozens were hurt when a man opened fire at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., early Sunday, targeting members of the gay community.

Police say the shooter purchased the two weapons, a semiautomatic rifle and a handgun from a local gun store, days before the attack.

Linda Brundage, executive director of the Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, says those weapons are the linchpins for the tragedy.

"It really doesn't matter if this shooter was a radical Islamic terrorist, a homophobic maniac or whatever else he might be labeled as,"" she says. The bottom line is, he walked into a gun shop and bought some guns."

On Monday, some Democrats in the U.S. Senate called for swift passage of additional gun controls, including a bill preventing people on terrorism watch lists from purchasing firearms.

The legislation was blocked in December by some Republicans, who claimed innocent people could be mistakenly placed on watch lists. The FBI said the suspect was on a watch list in 2013, but was removed a year later after its investigation closed.

At the state level, there is similar watch-list legislation (House Bill 5443), but Brundage explains it's stalled along with other gun control bills.

"There is other 'low-hanging fruit' legislation for background checks, HB 5647, that's languishing; gun-violence restraining orders, HB 4942, that's languishing. We need to take action to protect our citizens."

A ban on assault weapons was also introduced at the federal level at the end of last year, but Brundage notes only three Michigan representatives signed onto it.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - MI