As the Michigan legislature returns to Lansing for the start of the 2022 legislative session, lawmakers will once again have the opportunity to pass common sense gun safety bills. As gun violence continues to rise and the rippling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic extend into the new year, meaningful action on gun safety remains more critical than ever. This session, lawmakers should protect Michiganders by supporting gun safety bills that would reduce gun deaths and save lives, starting with passing legislation to protect survivors of domestic violence and require secure firearm storage practices.
Domestic violence and gun violence are inextricably linked, impacting millions of families and communities across the country. Currently, Michigan law does not prohibit convicted misdemeanor domestic abusers from possessing guns. Last session, Senators Stephanie Chang and Wayne Schmidt and Representatives Daire Rendon and Amos O’Neal introduced bipartisan legislation to strengthen domestic violence protections in Michigan. Senate Bills 678/679, and House Bills 5371/5372 would close this dangerous gap by temporarily prohibiting individuals convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes from purchasing or possessing firearms.
2021 saw historic levels of gunfire on school grounds, including the tragic school shooting in Oxford that left four students dead and several others wounded. Last year, legislators introduced SB 550 and 553 and HB 5066 and 5069, which would require gun owners to store their disabled firearm in a locked container in a reasonably secure location. By ensuring that gun owners are storing their firearms securely, Michigan lawmakers honor those whoes lives were taken in the Oxford shooting with action, and help minimize the risk of gun suicides and unintentional shootings in communities across the state.
This session, Moms Demand Action volunteers will continue to advocate for bills to protect communities from gun violence, and fight against legislation that threatens public safety and weakens gun violence prevention measures.
What to know about domestic violence in Michigan:
- From 2015-2019, 91 women were shot and killed by an intimate partner in Michigan.
- Women made up 80% of all intimate partner homicide firearm victims from 2015-2019; 66 percent of female intimate partner homicide victims in Michigan are killed with a gun.
- Not only are 57 women in the U.S. shot and killed by intimate partners every month on average, but nearly one million women alive today have been shot or shot at by an intimate partner and millions more have been threatened with a gun.
- Access to guns makes it five times more likely an abuser will kill his female victim.
- Women are disproportionately killed in domestic violence situations that involve a firearm, and Black women are disproportionately impacted by the deadly intersection of guns and domestic violence.
What to know about secure storage in Michigan:
- Research shows secure storage practices play a vital role in reducing the risk of gun violence by preventing unintentional shootings, gun suicides, and school gun violence.
- An estimated 54% of gun owners don’t store all of their firearms securely, and 5.4 million children live in homes with at least one unlocked and loaded firearm.
- Every year, hundreds of children in the US gain access to firearms and unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else; in 2021 there were at least 17 unintentional shootings by children in Michigan, resulting in 7 deaths and 10 injuries.
- In incidents of gunfire on school grounds, up to 80 percent of shooters under the age of 18 got the gun they used from their home or the homes of friends or relatives.
- In an average year, 728 people in Michigan die by gun suicides, and 73 more are wounded by gun suicide attempts.
- Michigan lawmakers should take action to enforce secure firearm storage in homes, cars, and any other places where guns are left unattended.
What to know about gun violence in Michigan:
- In Michigan, more than 1,000 people are shot and killed with a gun every year.
- Black people in Michigan are 22 times as likely to die by gun homicide as white people.
- Firearms are the second-leading cause of death for children and teens in Michigan.
- Gun violence costs Michigan $9.1 billion each year, of which $422.6 million is paid by taxpayers.