Experts: Gun reform shouldn’t be ‘one size fits all’
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - For the first time in decades, gun reforms are getting a vote this week in the Democratic-controlled legislature.
Before lawmakers decide if the proposals move onto Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk, the community discussed different ways to reduce gun violence during a forum.
Everyone agrees there is no one size fits all solution to stopping gun violence since there are many reasons behind it, but the debate is about how much lawmakers should step in.
“We need to enforce the laws we do have now rather than come up with new laws,” said George Nastas.
Nastas was one of the dozens of people who participated in a discussion to reduce gun violence Monday. He said he doesn’t agree with proposals being voted on this week, which include requiring people to lock up their guns. He said he doesn’t think that’s always practical.
“If someone is breaking through your door, you don’t have time to go to a safe and unlock a firearm to protect yourself. That just doesn’t work,” said Nastas.
Democrats are also expecting to pass red flag laws to temporarily remove someone’s guns if they pose a risk to themselves or the community.
“We need a way to ensure people are protected and others are protected in times of crisis,” said Rep. Emily Dievendorf, (D) Lansing.
Grand Valley State University criminology professor Christopher Kierkus said the focus shouldn’t be cutting the number of guns but instead making sure only the right people have access.
“If we draft those types of laws properly I do think there’s potential there, but we have to be careful that we don’t overreach and again create a huge number of false positives,” said Kierkus.
Dievendorf said she noticed potential problems with the proposal going through the legislature and doesn’t want people with mental illness to be targeted.
“I’m looking for ways to ensure that our bills are protecting against bias,” said Dievendorf.
Dievendorf said she thinks the legislature should also invest in gun violence and mental health resources while discussing gun reform.
Gun reforms aren’t the only thing lawmakers are expected to pass this week. The Michigan Senate is moving forward on the right-to-work repeal and prevailing wage proposal.
Democrats hope to send these proposals to the governor before next week.
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