LANSING, Mich., Aug. 13, 2021 — Earlier this week, the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office released a new policy regarding the crime of possessing a firearm during the attempt or commission of a felony, commonly called “felony firearm.” The office stated it will stop filing felony firearm charges against defendants except in extreme circumstances. In response, state Rep. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) issued the following statement:

“This past weekend, I attended a ‘Stop the Violence’ rally hosted by the Mikey23 Foundation. Hundreds gathered on Lansing’s south side to mourn the loss of our loved ones who have died at the hands of gun violence and recommit ourselves to finding practical solutions to address the rise of violence in our community and across the country.”

“We cannot ignore how felony gun possession laws have funneled too many Black and Brown residents into the criminal justice system at a rate that does not reflect the makeup of our community or our state. But it is impossible for me to ignore the uptick in gun violence in recent months and the heartbreak left behind. We have too many guns on our streets — guns in the hands of those who abuse them and in the hands of young people without the support to see a better way out of their problems. Righting our justice system will not happen overnight, and we are in the midst of a public health crisis today. We need to stay level-headed and find a nuanced solution to a problem deeply rooted in our laws and the way we enforce them.”

“Solutions to these complex problems must be crafted by elected officials in partnership with community leaders and those most impacted by gun violence. We cannot move forward without elevating the voices of the crime victims. I encourage residents who have been personally impacted by gun violence to reach out to the prosecutor’s office and make your voice heard.”