LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Dozens made their way to the state Capitol lawn to express concerns regarding gun laws and future bills. As you’d imagine, there are passionate people on either side of the debate.
The Second Amendment March Thursday was put on by Michigan Open Carry and Michigan gun owners. Organizer Brian Jeffs explained why it was important for them to come out.
“It’s fundamental to the spirit of American people, to redress our government. It’s in the Constitution,” Jeffs said. “We have free speech and we have the right to not only say what’s on our mind and criticize our government, but also it’s in the Constitution and the bill of rights to keep and bear arms.”
A current piece of legislation would prevent people convicted of domestic violence from owning a gun for eight years after their sentence. Gun rights advocates said Thursday that this is just the latest effort to take away their rights.
“Some of the examples I’ve cited are making unsolicited commercial calls after 9 p.m. Just things, again, that have nothing to do with violence,” said Tom Lambert, legislative director for Michigan Open Carry.
Ryan Bates, executive director of End Gun violence Michigan, countered that opponents of the domestic violence bills have their facts wrong. “That’s absolutely not true; the legislation is clear as day,” said Ryan Bates, executive director for End Gun Violence Michigan. “It will only affect people who have been convicted of a domestic violence-related crime.”
Bates said two-thirds of mass shootings in the United States stem from domestic violence. “Seventy women and children are killed every year in Michigan by abusers with guns,” Bates said. “This is a silent epidemic that we’re not talking about and we need to make sure that these women and children are protected.”
Gun rights activists on Thursday also spoke on the issue of a new law that allows only legislators to carry guns inside the state Capitol building. Anyone else can’t bring guns inside and will have to go through metal detectors when entering the Capitol.