Michigan lawmakers are taking up tougher gun control measures in Lansing on Wednesday. The bills were all introduced in the days after the Michigan State University shooting.
Wednesday (March 1), the House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary held a meeting and hearing for close to a dozen gun laws.
“We have people here today, kids even, who have been through unimaginable fear and violence as recently as two weeks ago on the grounds and buildings of Michigan State down the road,” said Committee chair Rep. Kelly Breen (D) of 21st district. “We all want the same thing: to have our kids come home at the end of the day and for our friends and family to be happy and healthy and safe.”
The House committee heard from members of the community like volunteers of Moms Demand Action and former congressmen Fred Upton (R-MI).
“How many straws is it going to take for us to finally do something to help our law enforcement and make our communities safer,” said Upton.
He says he wanted to testify because it was important for people to see bipartisan support for the red flag laws.
“I support the second amendment. If someone doesn’t have a criminal record or a reason, they should have no fear of having guns being taken away. There are penalties for misuse of this federal legislation, $5,000 up to five years in prison,” said Upton.
His hope is that support like this will mark a turning point for Michigan.
“19 states already have it. Michigan needs to be the 20th,” Upton said.
Thursday at 12 p.m., there will be a Senate hearing on the same gun laws. Former congressman Dave Trott (R-MI) is expected to testify. In a joint statement to Local 4, Trott and Upton say:
“As strong supporters of the Second Amendment and proud Republicans, we feel it is our duty to come out in support of this legislation. Students, educators, and parents in Michigan have suffered through multiple mass shootings in the past fifteen months, and Michiganders deserve action. This common-sense gun safety reform will save lives by getting illegal guns off our streets while helping law enforcement protect our families. It will keep students, victims of domestic violence, and families safe. We must directly address the causes of violent crime that have become all too common in our cities, in schools, and in everyday life -- these bills do just that. That is why we urge all members of the Michigan legislature — regardless of party — to vote yes on these bills. It’s time.”