I’m a firearms instructor. I support stronger gun laws.
We can celebrate the Second Amendment and save lives from gun violence.
I’ve been a firearms instructor for 20 years.
I train over 40 hours per year, and have been coached by numerous NRA firearms instructors and police officers. I respect our Second Amendment, and I also believe that we can take reasonable steps to save lives in Michigan from gun violence.
The shooting at Michigan State University is a tragic reminder of what can happen when we do not act to protect our communities from gun violence—especially our students. Unfortunately, Michigan’s gun violence problem is getting worse. According to the most recent official CDC data, gun deaths rose six percent across the state from 2020 to 2021. That’s unacceptable. Michiganders deserve to live in a state that respects responsible gun ownership and the right of everyone to feel safe.
Michigan has made modest improvements to its gun safety laws in recent years, but can do much more to save lives and prevent shootings.
Rights come with responsibilities. It’s just common sense to have reasonable laws to ensure that guns don’t fall into the hands of people convicted of violent crimes. That’s why I am the president of the Michigan chapter of Giffords Gun Owners for Safety. And that’s why I support the package of gun safety bills moving through our state legislature, including background checks, extreme risk protection orders, and safe storage of firearms.
Michigan’s background check laws have a huge loophole: long gun transfers by private sellers (non-firearms dealers) are not subject to background checks in Michigan. That means someone convicted of a violent crime could buy a rifle through a private sale from an unknown individual in a parking lot—no questions asked. We should close this and other loopholes to prevent people with a history of violent crimes from getting their hands on a deadly weapon.
Another solution needed to combat rising rates of violence is requiring the safe storage of firearms. As a responsible gun owner, safe storage is a no brainer. The Oxford High School shooter accessed his weapon from his dad’s unlocked dresser drawer. We should require gun owners to keep their firearms stored in a gun safe or with a locking device when they are not under their immediate control.
Lastly, extreme risk protection orders (aka red flag laws) would empower family members or law enforcement to take action when there are warning signs. For example, if someone discusses acting on thoughts of suicide or a school shooting, a judge could temporarily remove their access to guns. That would provide a valuable tool to intervene before it’s too late.
These proposals are straightforward measures that will protect Michigan communities and save lives. Law enforcement, mental health groups, and responsible gun owners like me all support these commonsense bills.
Some people will say that there’s nothing we can do to prevent these tragedies, but I disagree. There are obvious solutions in front of us. Why wouldn’t we take reasonable steps to protect our communities? These proposed laws are bipartisan solutions to our gun violence problem that we can—and must—do something about.
GUN OWNERS FOR SAFETY
The NRA’s extremist views don’t represent the majority of gun owners. Responsible gun owners understand that commonsense gun laws go hand-in-hand with firearm ownership.Read More