Mayors Say Bill Would Make it Easier for Criminals to Get Guns - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Mayors Say Bill Would Make it Easier for Criminals to Get Guns

A group know as Mayors Against Illegal Guns sound off a bill, they say, would make it easier for felons to get guns.

The group of mayors along with law enforcement leaders came together on Monday to make their voices heard.

They say a bill that has already passed the house is dangerous.

The bill would change the process for buying a gun, eliminating the requirement for a purchasing permit.

House bill 5225 is just 9 pages long but some mayors, including Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, say its extremely dangerous.

Virg Bernero, Lansing Mayor: "This bill does nothing to improve safety and everything to harm safety."

The bill calls for eliminating the required purchase permit for handguns, meaning you no longer have to check with local police before buying a gun.

Bernero: "It is very bad news, it is dangerous and really asinine."

Senator Rick Jones, Grand Ledge: "Virg, wake up."

Jones says the idea that the bill would make it easier for criminals to get guns isn't fair.

Jones: "Very very few crimes are committed by somebody who buys a gun legally."

He says this bill would simply streamline the process since a federal background check must be done in order to legally buy a gun anyway.

Jones: "The only concern that has come up - what about a private a private person to a private person."

And for those kinds of transactions, Jones says he plans to offer an amendment in the senate that would require any person to person sale to be contingent on a background check.

Jones: "That can be done either at a federal firearm licensed dealer or at the police station."

But opponents are also worried about the part of the bill that would require police departments to destroy all gun permit records within 6 months.

Bernero: "It creates a huge loophole to make it easier for criminals to get guns!"

Jones: "Is it really necessary to waste money to have the state police man this big permit thing - I think not."

But at this point the bill has yet to be taken up in the senate and many mayors hope it won't be.

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