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MI Faith Leaders Meet with Lawmakers on Gun Violence Legislation

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Monday, March 6, 2023   

Michigan faith leaders are meeting with members of the state Legislature to push for action on gun safety.

House leaders, including Rep. Joe Tate, D-Detroit, and several others, are attending a Monday forum with the Council of Baptist Pastors and the group End Gun Violence Michigan. Democratic leaders, already working to pass gun violence legislation, are now "fast-tracking" the bills in the wake of last month's deadly shooting at Michigan State University.

Ryan Bates, communications director for End Gun Violence Michigan, said the pastors will also discuss the effect gun violence is having on their congregations.

"Faith leaders are coming together with elected leaders to discuss the reality and the challenges that neighborhoods are facing, and to hear what legislators are doing about gun violence," Bates explained.

Lawmakers are considering a package of firearms safety bills, including universal background checks, safe storage requirements, and red flag laws allowing judges to temporarily confiscate guns from individuals deemed to be unsafe. The forum is at the Jordan Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit.

The Feb. 13 shooting left three MSU students dead and critically injured five others. But Bates noted it was not an isolated incident. Every year, 1,270 people die, and guns wound more than 2,400 in Michigan.

He emphasized they hope to humanize the grim statistics.

"We'll be hearing from survivors of gun violence -- parents who've lost their children -- who want more to be done," Bates pointed out. "We know that the goal of ending gun violence, and having a state where all of our children come home from school or from a birthday party, that's going to take a lot of work."


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