Governor Whitmer Signs Historic Bills to Require Background Checks on All Unlicensed Gun Sales and the Secure Storage of Firearms as Hundreds of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Volunteers Gather in Lansing for Annual Advocacy Day
Bill Signing Falls on Two Month Mark of Tragic Shooting at Michigan State University That Left Three Students Dead, Five Others Injured; Michigan House is Expected to Take Action on Legislation to Create an Extreme Risk Protection Law Later Today
LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statements today after Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed two critical gun safety bills into law. The legislation includes a law to require the secure storage of firearms in homes where children are present and another to require background checks for all unlicensed gun sales in the state of Michigan. More than 400 Moms Demand Action and Student Demand Action volunteers and gun violence survivors stood with the Governor as she signed the bills on Moms Demand Action’s annual Advocacy Day. Volunteers will now head to the statehouse to meet with lawmakers and later today, House lawmakers are also expected to take action on legislation to create an Extreme Risk law, which would temporarily remove firearms from those who pose a significant immediate threat to themselves or others.
These victories come exactly two months after a shooter who had previously exhibited dangerous warning signs opened fire on Michigan State University’s campus, killing three students and wounding five others. In the wake of the shooting, students, survivors, and advocates with Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action have shown up relentlessly to demand action from lawmakers, holding vigils, organizing protests, meeting directly with legislators, and testifying in support of gun safety legislation.
“The tragic mass shooting at Michigan State University was a call to action, and Governor Whitmer and Michigan legislators answered it by championing common-sense laws to keep all Michiganders safe from gun violence,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Now, finally, every gun buyer in Michigan will be required to pass a background check, and every gun owner will be required to safely store their weapon — two common-sense measures that have broad public support, including among gun owners themselves.”
“Michigan is an example to the nation that in order to take substantive action to save lives from gun violence we must elect strong gun sense champions,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “Our Michigan Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers have spent years doing the unglamorous heavy lifting of grassroots advocacy that helped make this possible and look forward to continuing to build on this historic progress.”
“Today we’re honoring the lives stolen by gun violence with action that will help save lives and prevent senseless tragedies,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, senior vice president for movement building for Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action. “Thanks to the tireless efforts of Governor Whitmer, our gun sense champion lawmakers in the House and the Senate, and the grassroots gun violence prevention movement – including Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers and gun violence survivors – universal background checks and secure storage will now be the law of the land in Michigan.”
“This is proof that when we speak out and show up, we can make a difference. In a moment where so many communities are grieving, Michigan is setting a clear example of what it means to meet tragedy with urgency, action, and change,” said Megan Dombrowski, a volunteer with Students Demand Action in Michigan. “We’re all a little safer today, and we’re proud to stand alongside the gun sense lawmakers who are listening to advocates, survivors, and young people and putting our safety first.”
“Today, Michigan is showing the nation what it looks like to lead on gun safety,” said Celeste Kanpurwala, a volunteer with the Michigan chapter of Moms Demand Action. “These laws will help save lives, and we couldn’t be more proud of our work with the gun sense champions in the statehouse and the governor’s mansion to get this legislation across the finish line. Today, we celebrate this life-saving progress and recommit ourselves to the work to make Michigan safe for all of us.”
Prior to the November 2022 elections, the Michigan legislature refused to pass important gun safety policies that would have addressed gun violence in Michigan, and neglected to take action in the wake of the horrific shooting at Oxford High School in 2021. During the 2022 election, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers worked to elect a gun sense trifecta in the state, with Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s re-election and new Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, including electing nine of our own Michigan Moms Demand Action volunteers to help secure the state legislature. After ten years of rallying around gun safety, pushing public education campaigns, meeting with legislators, testifying at hearings, and more, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers have become a powerhouse in the state of Michigan.
Today’s life-saving action in Michigan comes as the nation is still mourning the lives lost in the mass shootings in Nashville, Tennessee, and Louisville, Kentucky, and countless other acts of gun violence that don’t make the headlines. In the wake of recent gun violence, Students Demand Action volunteers mobilized in Michigan and across the entire nation to demand lifesaving action on gun safety. Last Wednesday, students walked out of more than 300 schools across 40 different states, including Michigan, to send a clear message to lawmakers: young people are fed up with living in fear of gun violence, and legislators at every level must take action to keep communities safe.
More information about gun violence in Michigan is available here.
If you would like to speak with an expert or a volunteer with Michigan Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action, please do not hesitate to reach out.