Gun reform bills set for second hearing after packed testimony

Posted at 9:53 AM, Mar 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-03 11:41:23-05

LANSING, Mich. — There is movement on the effort to implement gun reform in state as the Michigan Senate heard testimony over a package of bills supporters say will help make residents more safe.

"Doing nothing has done nothing except accelerate the number of deaths in this country every year. It's time we tried something else," said Jonathan Gold, a gun owner himself who attended Thursday's hearing to provide testimony.

Gold didn't get a chance to speak at the hearing due to time restraints.

“We believe that these bills will actually make Michigan less safe," said Brenden Boudreau, the executive director of Great Lakes Gun Rights.

There were strong feelings from both sides of the argument over gun reform in Michigan. The three bills that received testimony would enact universal background checks, red flag and safe storage laws, which Boudreau argues is simply political.

“It's actually not going to do anything to stop crime," he said. "It's sadly ironic that they're pushing a bill to restrict the rights of long guns to own and purchase long guns in Michigan when the shooters at Michigan State and Oxford used handguns. What does this have to do with these shootings? It just seems politically advantageous.”

He argues that all three bills are a violation of the Second Amendment in different ways.

“[This package of bills] will criminalize the basically loaning a hunting rifle or shotgun to a close friend or relative without first getting a government background check or actually getting a permit to purchase first," Boudreau said.

But Gold disagrees.

“None of these bills being proposed today violates my Second Amendment right," he said. "In none of these bills does it tell me where I can carry a gun or if I can carry a gun or what I can own or what I can't own. It doesn't do that. These are just common sense safety procedures that have been passed in 20 other states.”

For Gold, even a small change towards gun reform is a good change.

“We're never going to prevent gun violence with one law. No one gun, no one gun law is going to save everybody," he said. "If we'd had a safe storage law and the Oxford parents had had their gun locked up rather than having it in a drawer where their child could access a loaded weapon, maybe Oxford wouldn't have happened. We don't know. We'll never know.”

There were so many speakers on Thursday that an additional hearing is expected next week.

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