Sheriff weighs in on gun regulations - WNEM TV 5

Sheriff weighs in on gun regulations

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The gun debate is sweeping the nation, prompting many people in Mid-Michigan to speak out either for or against new measures.

"In light of what happened in Orlando and what happened in Connecticut and what happened in - we can go on and on and on with it - and it seems the ante gets higher with innocent lives taken as the ransom," Saginaw County Bill Federspiel said.

He said he's not sure what, but something needs to be done to better control civilians using automatic rifles to hurt others.

"Obviously those guns were meant for military use. So to have them in civilian population use, we're starting to see the effects across the country and it's a disturbing trend," Federspiel said.

Federspiel said one concern for officers is the fact they don't carry assault rifles on a regular basis, which could be a problem if they are in a situation where a civilian has one.

"We don't carry them strapped on our shoulders, nor do i think we should. I don't want to live in a society where local police are strapping on semi-automatic assault weapons," Federspiel said.

Flint Police Chief Timothy Johnson said tighter regulation is key.

"I believe there should be some serious restrictions put on being able to carry an assault rifle and I believe they should be screened and checked a lot harder," Johnson said.

Federspiel said he knows there are still many law-abiding citizens who own rifles, but said he would like to see more done to weed out those who could cause harm.

"What do we do in the case of someone with mental illness or on a terrorist watch list? We need to address those situations immediately," Federspiel said.

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