LANSING—Citing the number of drive-by shootings in Flint in the past few months, State Representatives Cynthia Neeley (D-Flint), Graham Filler (R-DeWitt), Mike Mueller (R-Linden) and Stephanie A. Young (D-Detroit) today held a press conference at Flint City Hall to discuss their legislation to increase penalties on drive-by shootings.
“These cowardly, heinous actions must end,” state Representative Cynthia Neeley said. “Drive-by shooters are intentionally targeting family members and numerous children have been shot and murdered in my community and throughout Michigan.”
The idea for the legislation came from a Flint family who had a child shot in a drive-by. Representative Neeley met with the family and worked with them to create legislation that would toughen penalties for drive-by shootings.
“While there has been bi-partisan support to move towards reducing numerous criminal penalties, drive-by shootings are violent actions that destroy families and harm neighborhoods,” said State Representative Filler. “Anyone who willingly puts an entire family in danger should face the consequences.”
Most drive-by shootings are retaliation against an individual and the shooter is targeting the family. The four-bill package would simply increase penalties for anyone shooting into a building or vehicle. Already this year, numerous children in Flint have been shot and three have been killed by drive by shootings.
“Shooting up a house endangers an entire family—these are conscience acts by people who must be stopped,” said Representative Mike Mueller (R-Linden). “These are not spur-of-the-moment actions, these are planned acts of violence that intentionally target innocent people, and that is why I’m sponsoring this bill.”
The legislation has the support of the Fraternal Order of Police and the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association. The bills were introduced Wednesday, June 16 and sent to the House Judiciary Committee. They are:
- HB 5027; introduced by Rep. Neeley;
- HB 5028; introduced by Rep. Filler;
- HB 5029; introduced by Rep. Mueller; and
- HB 5030; introduced by Rep. Young.
“My goal with this legislation is to have it serve as a deterrent and warning to any would-be shooters,” said Representative Stephanie A. Young (D-Detroit). “The recent death of a two-year old possibly could have been prevented if this package of bills were law already. It’s time to put an end to drive-by shootings and get the violent perpetrators off our streets to make our communities safer.”