LANSING — State Representatives Robert Wittenberg (D-Oak Park) and Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo) have formed the Michigan Gun Violence Prevention Caucus, which will lead efforts to reduce and prevent the number of gun-related injuries and deaths in Michigan. Approximately 32,000 people die each year because of gunshot wounds in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and with incidents such as the February mass shooting incident in Kalamazoo, the Michigan Gun Violence Prevention Caucus is ready to take action to reverse that trend.

“Smart gun safety laws save lives,” Rep. Wittenberg said. “Reducing the immense loss of life due to gun violence and protecting peoples’ Second Amendment rights are goals that don’t have to be at odds with each other. We all deserve to live in communities free from the fear and threat of gun violence. This caucus will provide essential tools to make complex policy issues understandable, develop policy strategies and gather momentum to pass gun safety legislation in our state.”

The Michigan Gun Violence Prevention Caucus is ready to draft and support legislation that would curb gun deaths and injuries. Several gun and public safety bills have been introduced to the Michigan Legislature recently, including proposals to create a Amber Alert-style warning system to advise people of active shooters in their area, and a proposal to ban firearms from state-owned buildings, just as they are prohibited in federal buildings.

“No matter where someone stands on the issue of guns, everyone can agree that we’d like to see fewer people injured and killed through gun violence,” Rep. Hoadley said. “We’re looking for places where people who have different ideas about guns can find a common ground. We can all work together to keep our friends and neighbors safe. Our ultimate goal is to create a future in which no family ever has to mourn the death of a loved one due to gun violence, and we invite our colleagues to join us.”