Proposed expanded background checks brings out supporters and opponents

May 14, 2014

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.

Linda Brundage is with Michigan Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense. She and several other supporters of the bill rallied on the Capitol grounds today.

Linda Brundage is with Michigan Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense. She says the state needs to take action to reduce gun violence.
Linda Brundage is with Michigan Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense. She says the state needs to take action to reduce gun violence.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

She says the state needs to take action to reduce gun violence.

“Just two days ago we had a horrible gun tragedy here in the Greater Lansing area, and this begins to address the culture of gun violence,” says Brundage.

Brundage is referring to a double homicide on Monday where a gunman shot and killed a Lansing pharmacist and a second man was gunned down a short time later in an East Lansing neighborhood. Police arrested a suspect, after a long standoff.   

Brady Schickinger is the executive director of the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners. He and a small crowd of pro-gun activists held their own rally across the street from the state Capitol.

“Extending background checks and registration to long guns isn’t going to do anything to stop any gun crime in this state,” says Brady Schickinger, the executive director of the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners.
“Extending background checks and registration to long guns isn’t going to do anything to stop any gun crime in this state,” says Brady Schickinger, the executive director of the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Schickinger disagrees with Brundage that more background checks will reduce gun violence in Michigan.

“Extending background checks and registration to long guns isn’t going to do anything to stop any gun crimes in this state,” says Schickinger. “It has zero effect on gun crime.”

Schickinger says the two sides both want to stop criminals from getting their hands on guns. He says they just have different approaches. 

Both sides say they will try to make sure their voices are heard by state lawmakers in November’s general election.