News Release: Gun Safety Legislation Headed to Governor Will ‘Help Save Lives’

MCC Encourages Continued Efforts to Reduce Violence in Society

A hand preparing to close the door on a gun safe, thus locking a rifle inside.

March 24, 2023

(Lansing, Mich.) — Michigan Catholic Conference is applauding the House and Senate for passing legislation this week that requires the safe storage of guns in homes and expands background checks on the purchase of all guns. The bills are now headed to the governor’s office, where Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to sign them into law.

The following comments may be attributed to Paul Stankewitz, Michigan Catholic Conference Policy Advocate:

“The passage of these bills will help save lives, including the innocent who sadly lose their life because a gun was not locked away or properly stored in a residence. As we stated during legislative testimony, a more rigorous conversation around violence in society is needed, a public information campaign to educate people that they are responsible for the weapons under their care would be helpful, greater attentiveness to and awareness of those who feel alienated or isolated from society would assist persons who are suffering, and meeting the mental health needs of residents would make a difference.

“It is saddening and almost always preventable when young persons, especially small children, are the fatal victims of gun fire. Hopefully the conversation around gun safety and awareness of the violence that exists in our society will lead to a greater appreciation for the value of all human life and the dignity that every person possesses from his or her conception as a child of God.”

The bills that address the safe storage of guns are Senate Bills 79–82. Bills implementing universal background checks on gun purchases are House Bills 4138, 4142, and 4143.

The safe storage bills would require the safe storage of firearms that could be accessible by minors, create sentencing guidelines for violations, exempt storage devices and gun locks from sales/use taxes, and require signage at the point of sale regarding the tax exemption.

Background check legislation would expand Michigan’s background check law to include all firearms, not just pistols. It would also adjust the Michigan Penal Code and sentencing guidelines for violations.

Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.

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