Why gun rights advocates are against ‘Gun-Free Zone’ idea in Downtown Detroit

Vote on resolution coming Tuesday

DETROIT – Gun rights advocates are blasting calls for a so-called ‘Gun-Free Zone’ in Downtown Detroit. The idea was floated following a weekend of violence in Greektown and on the Riverfront.

They don’t like the sound of gun-free zones as they believe it would put more people at risk.

Activists gathered and spoke out against the potential of the gun-free zone in Greektown as they believe the retroactive move to combat recent hikes in violence gives them a cause for concern.

“I don’t believe the correct response to the violence that we have had in our city is to deny basic liberties to the residents,” said Advocate Scotty Bowman. “The idea of making Greektown into a gun-free zone is not going to help make anyone safer and is an infringement of people’s basic rights.”

Bowman says that could be a strong possibility in just days.

“Tomorrow (Tuesday, May 2), they will be voting on a resolution to have the state of Michigan change the law so that they can make gun-free zones within the city,” Bowman said. “I think it’s best to have responsible gun owners who can actually respond and help protect and helps stop active shooters when they start to do harm to others.”

Another speaker included firearms instructor advocate Rick Ector, who says there are also concerns about African Americans being disproportionately targeted by these laws.

“Gun Laws tend to be most stringent in communities of color in the city of Detroit,” said Ector. “We have a long history of having to undo gun laws across the state.”

Police Commissioner Willie Burton says he sees both sides, supporting red flag laws yet hoping not to infringe on anyone’s rights.

“I don’t want to see someone’s constitutional rights being violated,” Burton said. “With streets, they should be able to walk up or walk down or shouldn’t walk up or walk down. I think Detroit is for everyone.”

No city council members were able to be interviewed. But many people will patiently wait to see how they vote come Tuesday.

About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.