Many people, groups support legislation to keep guns away from violent criminals

LANSING, Mich., Sept. 26, 2023 — State Rep. Amos O’Neal (D-Saginaw) testified in Michigan’s House Criminal Justice Committee today, alongside numerous stakeholders, on House Bills 4945 and 4946. These bills would prohibit possession of firearms and ammunition by persons convicted of misdemeanors involving domestic violence.

“This is the second time state Sen. Stephanie Chang and I have introduced this legislation to help keep firearms out of the hands of convicted abusers. I am honored that these bills have been taken up by the committee,” O’Neal said. “Those who testified here today are brave individuals, who are seeking to spur change from their heartbreaking experiences and prevent future violence.”

These bills would partially align Michigan law with current federal protections, allowing state and local prosecutors to enforce misdemeanor domestic crime prohibitions. Currently in Michigan, only individuals convicted of felonies are prohibited from possessing, using, purchasing or carrying a firearm after serving their sentence.

“As legislators, it is our job to keep Michiganders safe with preventable gun violence legislation, and that is what we spoke to today. It was uplifting to know that those who testified also believe these bills will save lives,” O’Neal continued. “I am humbled by this opportunity, and I look forward to these bills passing out of committee and moving to the House floor. In the meantime, I will continue to support domestic violence survivors any way I can and continue my work toward creating a safer Michigan.”