I’ve heard from many of my constituents who have taken the time to share their concerns and opinions about our state’s gun laws. A number of proposals have been introduced in both the state House and Senate, as well as in Congress, in an effort to prevent gun violence and protect our families. In order to make my stance known and accessible, I wanted to publish some information to update you on pending legislation in the House to prevent gun violence and crime and where I stand.

Over the past couple of years, there has been an ongoing debate about the issue of gun violence across the country, and activists have recently gained momentum through community-organized events such as March For Our Lives. I have always been a supporter of the Second Amendment and will continue to promote responsible gun ownership. Yet, we also have a responsibility to protect our communities and ensure the safety of all, especially our young people. Now more than ever, it is our duty to make sure that we promote safe school environments where our students are able to learn and thrive. The fact is, we don’t have to choose between protecting our communities and supporting the Second Amendment. We can do both — strengthening our laws to protect our families while ensuring that law-abiding Michiganders retain their Second Amendment right.

It is time to strengthen our gun laws in Michigan, and I support responsible reforms that would do so without infringing on our Second Amendment rights. Several of my Democratic colleagues have introduced legislation we should consider to promote responsible gun ownership. State Rep. Robert Wittenberg (D-Huntington Woods) recently introduced House Bill 5369, which would require universal background checks when buying a gun.

Additionally, Rep. Wittenberg’s HB 4706, commonly referred to as “red flag” legislation, would create the “extreme risk protection order act.” This legislation would allow for law enforcement officers and family members to petition the court to temporarily remove weapons from individuals who may be at risk of harming themselves or others. Other suggested policies include increasing the age limit for gun ownership.

At this time, none of these bills have been given a hearing to allow the public or law enforcement to provide feedback. It is past time to begin these conversations and have hearings in Lansing on policies like those I mentioned above that could protect our children and our communities.

Legislation dealing with gun control is usually referred to the House Judiciary Committee, of which I am not a member. If you would like to subscribe to email notifications on activity in this committee, you can do so here.