Press Call Precedes First Hearing of Gun Safety Bills in the House Today
A Video of the Press Call is Available Here
LANSING, Mich. – This morning, Michigan Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist II, State Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks and Speaker of the House Joe Tate, joined Michigan State University student and Students Demand Action volunteer, Saylor Reinders and Angela Ferrell-Zabala, Senior Vice President for Movement Building at Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, to discuss the state of play for gun violence prevention measures in the state, highlighting the urgent need to pass foundational gun safety laws introduced in the legislature just days after the shooting at Michigan State University. The call preceded the first hearing of the safety bills, being heard today in the House Judiciary committee at 3pm ET — the Senate will hear the bills tomorrow, respectively. Video recording of the call is available here.
“It’s not the responsibility of young people to keep ourselves safe, but once again, it’s our generation that is bearing the weight of this crisis,” said Saylor Reinders, President of the Michigan State University chapter of Students Demand Action. “Right now, we have a real opportunity to make meaningful change. We’re proud to stand here with lawmakers who have championed these common sense gun safety policies, and we will continue to work hand-in-hand with them to get this done. But there’s no more time to waste. We know the consequences of inaction, and this time must be different.”
“We mourn the lives lost during the horrific campus shooting at Michigan State University,” said Michigan Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist. “Too many Michigan kids, parents, and families bear the scars of gun violence, and we all share a responsibility to respond to this crisis with collective action. This package of legislation proposes proven, commonsense tools that will reduce gun violence in Michigan. It is time for us to come together to ensure Michiganders can go to school, work, or their homes without fear of gun violence, and I look forward to working with our legislative partners to get this done.”
“No one. No kid. No student. No parent. No university should have to experience that kind of trauma,” said Michigan Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks. “I’m the mom of a Spartan, but I also wear another hat as Michigan Senate Majority Leader. And for too long, the people who had my job weren’t willing to do anything about gun violence. They said if we did that we would become a country we don’t recognize anymore. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to recognize our country as one that willfully accepts the deaths of children and innocent people when there are real things we can and must do to stop it. But it’s a new day in Michigan and we now have a majority of lawmakers who are willing to finally do something about gun violence. We are committing to our constituents, our kids, MSU students, Oxford students – everyone – that we are going to do our jobs and get these bills passed.”
“Frankly, the inaction that has been taken over the past several years is no longer acceptable,” said Michigan Speaker of the House Joe Tate. “I am looking forward to working together, working with Majority Leader Brinks around the common-sense gun violence legislation that will be proposed, and am looking forward to working with Everytown and Moms Demand Action to right this wrong.”
“We can’t lose sight of this historic progress that we’ve made on gun safety in the last decade,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, Senior Vice President for Movement Building at Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action. “This amazing action that we’re seeing here in Michigan shows the change in political calculus. Gun safety is not only a good policy, it’s good politics. Michigan is creating a blueprint of what can be made and done and gun safety with new trifectas across the country.”
The bills discussed include legislation to require the secure storage of firearms and ammunition, to require background checks for all unlicensed gun sales, and to create an Extreme Risk law, which temporarily removes firearms from those who pose an immediate threat to themselves or others. These bills were introduced just days after the horrific shooting at Michigan State University, in which three students were shot and killed, and five others shot and wounded by a shooter who had previously exhibited dangerous warning signs.
Today at 3pm ET, the Michigan House will have the first hearing for these life saving bills in the House Judiciary Committee. Following, tomorrow at noon, the Michigan Senate will have their first hearing on these bills in the Senate Civil Rights, Judiciary, and Public Safety. Moms Demand Action volunteers and gun violence survivors will be testifying at both hearings. Students Demand Action volunteers will also be speaking with legislators tomorrow prior to the hearings.
To inquire about an interview with Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action volunteers, please contact [email protected].