LANSING, Mich. — Michigan gun owners took the time to voice their support Thursday for the new gun control bills making their way through the Michigan Legislature.
Those bills fall under several categories: universal background checks, safe storage laws and extreme risk protection orders.
“I am here to speak out today for the vast majority of gun owners who are responsible and say that we support gun safety laws. We've supported them for years. This isn't new,” says Michigan President of Giffords Gun Owners for Safety Jon Gold. “Responsible gun owners have always practiced safely and with respect to other people in their society."
Gold, who is also a firearms instructor trained by the National Rifle Association (NRA), says none of the proposed bills in the Legislature violate his Second Amendment rights. He says all gun owners want is for everyone’s children to be safe from gun violence.
Gold explains other states have taken steps to reduce gun-related deaths, noting a 53% reduction in gun deaths among young people after Florida passed a safe storage law.
“This is proven, effective safety work,” he says. “We just have to take common sense measures to make sure that our children are safe.”
While the recent tragedy at Michigan State University (MSU) was on everyone’s minds, Gold notes most youth gun injuries occur by accident or suicide.
“A kid finds a gun. They're naturally curious. And then a horrible tragedy occurs. No child should die for being inquisitive,” says Gold.
He says it’s imperative the new bills are passed and become law to save lives in the future.
“These proposals are reasonable reforms that will save lives. They respect our rights as gun owners and our traditions as hunters,” says Gold. “That’s why they’re supported by the majority of gun owners and even NRA members. We can all agree, for example, that we need universal background checks to stop violent criminals from buying firearms.”
Watch the full press conference here:
READ MORE: Lawmakers debate gun control package aimed at curbing gun violence