On February 13, Slate of Gun Safety Laws Passed in the Year Since the Shooting Go Into Effect Including Historic Extreme Risk Law, Secure Storage Policies, Background Checks For All Unlicensed Gun Sales Requirements, and a Convicted Domestic Abuser Prohibition Law
On Thursday, MSU Students Demand Action to Host Advocacy Day at State Capitol Amid Week of Action
NEW YORK — Tomorrow marks one year since the deadly mass shooting at Michigan State University, where three students were shot and killed and five others were shot and wounded. In the wake of the shooting, listening to student survivors and gun safety advocates, Michigan lawmakers took unprecedented strides to curb gun violence in the state, quickly passing a slate of major gun safety laws. These gun safety laws go into effect on the one-year mark of the shooting tomorrow.
“One year ago, the Spartan community changed forever. Words fail to describe the pain, trauma, and sorrow of knowing my classmates should be alive today,” said Saylor Reinders, a survivor of the shooting at Michigan State University and co-president of the Michigan State University Students Demand Action Chapter. “This shooting could have been prevented. That’s why students demanded unprecedented change from Michigan leaders to prevent future tragedies. We’ll continue to honor the lives of our classmates with action so the next generation of students don’t know the fear or loss that we do.”
“One of the best ways to honor those who died in the MSU shooting is pushing through laws to prevent future tragedies, and that’s exactly what Governor Whitmer and Michigan lawmakers have done,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “While nothing will bring back the victims of that terrible day, their memory continues to inspire Michigan’s gun safety movement, which is bigger, stronger, and more determined than ever.”
“As communities continue to grapple with the trauma of last year’s shooting at MSU, elected officials in Michigan have worked hard to prevent more lives from being stolen by gun violence,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action. “This progress is the result of years of tireless advocacy from survivors and gun safety advocates across the state – and is possible because Michiganders elected gun sense champions into office. The students, parents, and larger MSU community are our guiding light as we push states across the country to follow in Michigan’s footsteps.”
This week, MSU Students Demand Action, in partnership with MSU, will be participating in a week of action, entitled “Spartans Together in Healing and Remembrance.” Throughout the week, student leaders will be volunteering and organizing events across campus to provide trauma resources and provide opportunities for healing and community. An advocacy day will also be held on Thursday at the capitol to demand continued action on gun violence prevention.
In the weeks following the shooting, Michigan lawmakers took swift action, introducing and passing three critical gun safety bills. This included passing a law to require the secure storage of firearms in homes where children are present, a law to require background checks for all gun sales in the state of Michigan, and an Extreme Risk (ERPO) law, which gives loved ones and law enforcement the ability to petition courts to temporarily restrict access to firearms by individuals who are at risk of harming themselves or others. More information on utilizing Michigan’s extreme risk law can be found here. Michigan lawmakers also passed a law to prohibit people convicted of domestic violence misdemeanor offenses in Michigan from purchasing or possessing firearms. These gun violence prevention laws all go into effect on the shooting year mark tomorrow.
Extreme Risk laws are an effective way to temporarily remove access to guns from someone who is showing serious signs that they may harm themselves or someone else. Ahead of Michigan’s ERPO implementation date, and in response to challenges seen in other states implementing extreme risk protection orders, the Everytown Support Fund re-launched the ‘One Thing You Can Do’ website – a resource center for how to use this life saving tool in states with ERPO laws. Along with information about Extreme Risk laws, and information to demystify this critical tool, the site also provides extensive resources on how to file an ERPO in your state, including direct links to court forms in both English and Spanish. There are also downloadable FAQ resource pages to help spread awareness about ERPO. More information about filing an extreme risk law can be found here.
“Extreme Risk laws are critical tools in comprehensive state gun violence prevention strategies that provide a clear way to act when there are warning signs to prevent a horrific tragedy,” said Chelsea Parsons, senior director of Implementation at Everytown for Gun Safety. “The efforts underway across Michigan to ensure the new law is successfully implemented will help ensure communities across the state have access to this lifesaving crisis intervention option. Enacting strong gun laws is not the end of the work to protect all communities from gun violence, but rather the beginning. We are ready to help chart the course for Michigan and work hand-in-hand with leaders at the state and local level across the state to make sure Michigan’s gun safety laws are working as designed to save lives.”
Since 2013, Everytown has identified nearly 1,200 incidents of gunfire on school grounds. Many of these shootings were committed by minors or people associated with schools. But gun violence goes far beyond school campuses — every day in the United States, 120 people are killed by guns, more than 200 more are shot and wounded, and countless others witness acts of gun violence. This public health crisis is traumatizing Americans across generations, and the scars stretch far beyond those killed and wounded, impacting the well-being of survivors, their families, and entire communities.
While the path to healing looks different for everyone, many survivors of gun violence have found strength in advocacy. In Michigan, and all across the country, survivors are leading the fight to save lives through action — be that sharing their stories at community events, advocating at statehouses, or fighting to hold the gun industry accountable.
In an average year, 1,382 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 103 children and teens die by guns every year. More information about gun violence in Michigan is available here.