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Michigan Bills OK'd To Loosen Air, Pellet Gun Regulations

LANSING (AP) - Michigan lawmakers have approved legislation to loosen licensing restrictions on air guns and limit local governments' ability to set their own regulations, except when the guns are being used by kids under age 16.

The bills are backed by the National Rifle Association. It says Michigan is one of just four states to classify most pellet and air guns as firearms, which the gun rights group says is an "unduly burdensome restraint."

The legislation passed by the Republican-controlled Senate on Tuesday goes to Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature.

Some lawmakers are concerned about stripping away municipalities' control of the real-looking guns, citing the police shooting last month of a 12-year-old boy carrying a pellet gun in Cleveland.

Supporters counter that the bills still let local governments regulate the possession of BB, pellet and paintball guns for kids under 16. Cities and township also could ban air guns from being fired in a "heavily populated area."

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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