House Bill 4795 Would Allow the Gun Lobby to Sue Local Governments for Enforcing Reasonable Public Safety Laws and Force Michigan Taxpayers to Foot the Bill
LANSING, Mich. – Today, volunteers with the Michigan chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, testified at Michigan’s House Local Government Committee hearing in opposition to House Bill 4795.
If enacted, the bill would give the NRA and other out-of-state special interest groups the power to sue local governments for enforcing reasonable gun laws and would entitle them to large payouts at Michigan taxpayers’ expense. The bill would also force local officials, including police officers, to risk thousands of dollars in fines for protecting Michigan communities and have a dangerous chilling effect on enforcement of local public safety laws.
The volunteers with the Michigan chapter of Moms Demand Action who testified today include Nicole Bedi and Annie VandenBurg, who read a statement from former Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell, a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
“HB 4795 would subject police officers and other local officials to the risk of thousands of dollars in fines, which they would have to pay in their personal capacities, simply for enforcing their municipalities’ laws,” said former Grand Rapids
Mayor George Heartwell in a statement read at today’s hearing. “I don’t want to see Michigan cities and towns being sued by lobbying groups based in Texas and Virginia. I don’t want to see police officers and mayors risking fines for doing their jobs and upholding the law. I don’t want to see local taxpayers on the hook for legal fees being run up by the gun lobby’s trial attorneys.”
“This bill isn’t about enforcing the law; it’s about doing favors for the gun lobby,” said Nicole Bedi, a volunteer with the Michigan chapter of Moms Demand Action from Birmingham, MI. “HB 4795 would force local officials, including police officers, to risk thousands of dollars in fines for protecting Michigan communities. That’s just not right for Michiganders. Our lawmakers should be spending time trying to better protect our communities – not letting out-of-state special interests sue the people who keep us safe.”