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At State of State Address Michigan Governor Makes One Thing Clear: Comprehensive Gun Violence Prevention is a Priority

January 26, 2023

On Wednesday evening, during her State of the State address, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer made it clear gun violence prevention legislation is a priority during the Michigan 2023 legislative session. The governor called for critical gun safety laws such as a Red Flag Law, which would allow law enforcement and family members to petition the court for the temporary removal of firearms from people deemed at risk to themselves or others and comprehensive background checks on all firearm purchases. The governor also mentioned secure gun storage legislation – speaking directly to the November 2021 mass shooting at Oxford High School. 

“Gun violence in all its forms continues to traumatize communities in Michigan and across the country,” said Amanda Esquivel, a volunteer with the Michigan chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We thank Governor Whitmer for being vocal about her prioritization of gun violence prevention. With the new gun sense majority in  our legislature, now is the moment for Michigan lawmakers to pass life-saving gun safety measures.”

Following an election where Michigan voters made it clear gun violence prevention is a top priority, the Michigan 2023 session began with a new gun sense majority in the House, Senate and governor’s mansion. With this majority, lawmakers have an opportunity to prioritize critical measures to address gun violence like an extreme risk law, background checks on all firearm sales, requiring secure firearm storage, and laws to prohibit domestic abusers from possessing firearms. The legislature should also sustain funding for critical community violence intervention work.

More information on Gun Violence in Michigan:

  • In an average year, 1,270 people die and 2,437 are wounded by guns in Michigan.
  • Guns are the leading cause of death among children and teens in Michigan, and an average of 95 children and teens die by guns every year, of which 39% of these deaths are suicides and 57% are homicides.
  • Communities of color disproportionately bear the burden of our country’s gun violence crisis every single day. Black Michiganders are 22 times more likely than white people to die by gun homicide. 
  • In Michigan, 58% of gun deaths are suicide and 40% are homicides. This is compared to 59% and 39% nationwide, respectively. 
  • Gun violence in Michigan costs $1,683 per person each year. Gun deaths and injuries cost Michigan $16.8 billion each year, of which $380.5 million is paid by taxpayers

More information about gun violence in Michigan is available here.

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