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A man who was once hospitalized for depression cannot legally buy a gun in Michigan – at least not without a court fight. That’s the decision handed down recently by a federal appeals court.

Michigan resident Clifford Tyler was turned away by a gun dealer after a background check revealed his history of being hospitalized for depression. Tyler is 74, and his hospitalization was more than 30 years ago following a divorce. Tyler says he has not had any mental health issues since.

Demonstrators at Capitol seek stronger gun laws

Sep 7, 2016
Rick Pluta / MPRN

Michigan lawmakers returning for the fall session today were greeted by a "die-in" outside the state Capitol.

The protest was organized by the Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence.

According to Linda Brundage, executive director of the Coalition, the goal of the "die-in" was to draw attention to the 91 people killed by guns each day in the U.S., and to highlight inaction by state lawmakers on bills to reduce gun violence.

"There is very good legislation languishing in the Judiciary Committee eliminating open carry in our schools and libraries," said Brundage.

Courtesy of UICA, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University

Few things are as polarizing in American society as the debate between gun control advocates and gun rights activists.

These arguments often play out in national and state legislatures, with many gun control advocates feeling the National Rifle Association has undue influence over politicians.

Michigan Radio’s Vincent Duffy hosted a panel discussion on the role that guns play in politics and elections at our latest Issues & Ale event.

Michigan Democrats call for "common sense gun laws"

Jun 30, 2016
Daniel Weber / Flickr

Democrats in Michigan's Congressional delegation are pushing for a pair of gun safety laws. 

One bill, dubbed "No Fly, No Buy," would prevent people on the terrorist watch list from buying guns. The other would expand background check policies.

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint, says it's time to do something about gun violence. 

"We have it within our power to take action. Will it prevent all violence? No. Could it have an effect on the next terrible event? Perhaps," Kildee says.

Photo credit: www.terryforohio.com

Issues & Ale: The role of guns in politics
Tue, July 12, 6:30-8:00 PM

Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts
2 Fulton St W.,
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

- Free Admission -

  Few things are as polarizing in American society as the debate between gun control and gun rights activists. These arguments often play out in national and state legislatures, with many gun control advocates feeling the National Rifle Association has undue influence over politicians. Join Michigan Radio’s Vincent Duffy as he hosts this panel discussion on the role that guns play in politics and elections.

Rep. Dan Kildee / Twitter

Earlier today, House Democrats ended their 25-hour sit-in on the house floor.

Led by U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, revered for his role in the civil rights movement, Democrats demanded votes on gun control issues such as universal background checks and blocking gun sales to anyone on a no-fly list.

The protest drew a range of reactions from their colleagues and constituents.

Rep. Debbie Dingell (right) of Michigan's 12th Congressional District participated last night in a sit-in protesting legislative inaction on gun control. Also pictured: Representatives Catherine Clark and John Lewis and Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Rep. Debbie Dingell / Twitter

Of the hundreds of legislators who spoke as they occupied the House chamber last night in a historic sit-in to protest Congressional inaction on gun control, it may have been the words of Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., that made the biggest impact. 

"I lived in a house with a man who should not have had access to a gun," Dingell said in a passionate address delivered at roughly 12:25 a.m.

Democratic congressional representatives are staging a sit-in on the House floor to push a restriction on suspected terrorists' ability to buy guns.
Rep. Dan Kildee / Twitter

Five Democratic Michigan representatives are participating in a sit-in aimed at closing what they call the 'terror loophole.' They propose closing the loophole with what they call the #NoFlyNoBuy law. It would make it more difficult for those specifically on the FBI's no-fly list to buy guns.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

John Hoadley says he doesn't want people in Michigan trying  what he's seen people do in YouTube videos: mount a remote-controlled gun on a drone, and fly it.

"When we think about the fact that these drones are now potentially flying over our homes or schools where our kids or neighbors are," says the Democratic state representative from Kalamazoo, "it's  appropriate to have a framework that says, while there are very cool pieces of this new technology, it would be inappropriate to have flying guns in the state of Michigan."

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan U.S. Senator Gary Peters says now’s the time “to act on guns”.

Peters and his fellow Democrats get their long-sought votes on gun control after the massacre in Orlando, Florida, but election-year politics ensure no changes in the nation's laws.

Democrats are expected to vote tonight to block two Republican amendments, saying they don't do enough. Republicans are expected to block two Democratic amendments, saying they threaten the rights of gun owners.

Senator Gary Peters, a Michigan Democrat, participated in a filibuster on the senate floor Wednesday meant to call attention to legislative inaction on gun control.
Gary Peters / Facebook

Senator Gary Peters, D-Mich., took the Senate floor on Wednesday as part of a Democratic filibuster meant to draw attention to gun control issues in the wake of Sunday's mass shooting in Orlando, in which 49 people at a gay nightclub were killed by a gunman using a legally purchased assault rifle.

Michigan has very minimal requirements for gun sales. But you need to get a permit before buying a pistol, and there are a few people who aren’t allowed a license, mainly those with a possibly dangerous mental illness or a criminal conviction.

State Representative Robert Wittenberg, D-Oak Park, introduced a bill last week that seems pure common sense. He wants to require gun licensing agencies to notify police and prosecutors when someone applies and fails the background check.

Handguns
user Joshuashearn / wikimedia commons

Police could be notified if you try to buy a gun and fail a background check.

That's if a bill introduced in the Michigan State House today passes. The bill, introduced by Rep. Robert Wittenberg, D-Oak Park, would require gun sellers to contact state, local, and federal authorities if a person fails a background check when trying to buy a firearm.

Wittenberg said the goal is to head off illegal purchases of guns.

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

This Week in Michigan politics, Jack Lessenberry said the recent shooting in Kalamazoo won't prompt legislation on gun control any time soon, he explained the controversial "gag order" law and gave an update on Flint and Detroit


President Obama yesterday announced a series of executive orders aimed at enforcing existing laws and lowering the death rate. You might think that was common sense policy.


James Craig, Detroit police chief, says terrorist attacks would not occur in Detroit because of armed citizens.
M&R Glasgow / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Detroit police chief James Craig said the casualties following the terrorist attacks in Paris — resulting in more than 100 deaths — would not have occurred had the citizens been armed.

"A lot of Detroiters have (concealed pistol licenses), and the same rules apply to terrorists as they do to some gun-toting thug," Chief James Craig told The Detroit News. "If you're a terrorist, or a carjacker, you want unarmed citizens."

Yesterday, a circuit judge in Washtenaw County struck a blow for common sense and sanity by ruling that Ann Arbor public schools could ban guns in their buildings.

That immediately provoked a furious reaction from those who think guns more important than anything else, including the lives and well-being of children.

The attorney for a group called Michigan Gun Owners fairly sneered, “I think the judge decided to ignore state law.”

He added that they would appeal.

Daniel Weber / Flickr

Earlier this month, we spoke with gun instructor Rick Ector about the increase in the number of women in Michigan with concealed pistol licenses, or CPLs.

Kristen Moore of the Michigan Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America wanted to continue the conversation by exploring the role that firearms play in violence against women.

Handguns
user Joshuashearn / wikimedia commons

As the debate over gun rights and regulations sways back and forth in the media and legislatures across the country, Michigan is seeing a surge in women with concealed pistol licenses.

In 2010, some 10,000 women in Michigan had the permits. Today, that number is over 25,000.

Gratiot and Muskegon counties saw increases of more than 400 percent, according to The Detroit News. 

New concealed pistol bill clears Michigan House

Feb 25, 2015
Handguns.
user Ben Re / Flickr

The State House has approved legislation that would overhaul the way Michigan approves concealed pistol licenses.

The legislation would abolish county gun boards which approve the licenses. Those duties would go to county clerks with the State Police conducting background checks.

State Representative Klint Kesto, R-Commerce Township, says the gun boards sometimes discriminate against applicants.

Hyatt Guns

Retired federal law enforcement officials would be able to carry concealed weapons in “no carry zones” under a bill approved by the state Senate. The bill got overwhelming bipartisan support.

“No carry zones” include places such as schools, day care centers, taverns, hospitals, and sports arenas where concealed weapons are prohibited.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This week in Michigan politics, Jack and Emily discuss anguish over Flint’s water, a plan for some Detroiters to pay half price on auctioned homes and a new gun bill moving ahead in Lansing.


Despite public outcry, Rep. Debbie Dingell does not believe this year’s Democratic primaries were rigged by the DNC.
Atlantic Council / Flickr

Governor Snyder is facing increasing pressure to veto legislation that would let some people who have personal protection orders against them carry a concealed weapon.

Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Dingell has written a letter to Snyder urging him not to sign it.

Dingell joined us today from Washington D.C.

Today marks a significant historical anniversary that is likely to go largely unnoticed. World War II really began 75 years ago today, when Great Britain and France declared war on Nazi Germany for attacking Poland.

For the next six years, humans violently murdered each other at the rate of about 10 million a year. 

This anniversary is likely to get little notice because so much else is going on – and because historians are busy commemorating the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I.

Now here is a little Michigan news story that isn’t likely to get much notice either. According to Livingston County police, a 69-year-old man was driving a pickup truck yesterday afternoon, when he passed a 43-year-old man driving a smaller vehicle.

They then both were stopped at a traffic light. The younger man got out of his car and approached the truck. And the truck driver shot him to death. Police say they were both from Howell, but didn’t know each other, that this was just a case of road rage.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Supporters and opponents of expanding background checks for gun buyers in Michigan were at the state capitol today.

House Bill 4774 has sat in the state House Judiciary committee for a year without ever being brought up for a committee hearing.  

The bill would expand state background checks to include long guns.

Eighteen years ago, I was teaching a large “survey of the media” class at Wayne State University when word came that there was a verdict in the O.J. Simpson case. I put television on.

This was a Wayne State University class with almost equal numbers of black and white students. When it was announced that OJ had been acquitted of the murders of his wife and her friend, the reaction seemed almost Pavlovian.

The white students were openly disgusted. The black ones, pleased. Times have changed. Today, we have a black President. 

But my guess is that if I had been teaching a similar class when the Trayvon Martin verdict was announced, I would have seen something like a mirror image. Certainly the African-Americans would have been outraged; though I am not sure the white students would have been all that pleased with George Zimmerman’s acquittal.

A former Sandy Hook superintendent and a Newtown police lieutenant will share their experiences at the Schools, Educators, Police, Liaison Association (SEPLA) conference in Mount Pleasant, June 18-20.

Both Janet Robinson, the former Sandy Hook superintendent, and Lieutenant Richard Robinson of the Newtown Police Department were involved in the emergency response to the tragic school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School this past December.

The conference is open to school administrators and emergency responders. In addition to guest speakers, the conference will offer training sessions and discussion groups. 

Moms Demand Action facebook page

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - About 200 people have turned out at the Michigan Capitol for a rally in favor of putting more restrictions on gun ownership.

They shared the grounds Saturday with dozens of other people who are opposed to new restrictions.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero told the crowd that "sensible gun laws," not more guns, will make communities safer. The rally included the five Michigan chapters of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Survivors of gun violence also attended.

flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

All this week, Bridge Magazine has run a series of in-depth stories delving into Michigan's gun culture.

Guns in Michigan explores a wide range of questions including what happens at the point where gun rights and public safety intersect?

And how pervasive is gun violence in Michigan?

Pat Shellenbarger wrote the series.

He's a writer based in West Michigan. If his name sounds familiar, it could be because he was a reporter and editor at the Detroit News as well as The Grand Rapids Press and the St Petersburg Times.

He joined us on Stateside today, listen to the audio above.

Several Michigan women are on their way to Washington D.C. to lobby members of Congress for stricter national gun laws.  They’ll be part of a major lobbying effort tomorrow. 

This week marks the three month anniversary of the Newtown massacre that left 27 people dead, including 20 children.

Linda Brundage is with the group Moms Demand Action.  She says the group supports the Second Amendment, but it still sees room for new laws to ban assault weapons and limit the size of ammunition magazines.  

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