Rallies expected at Michigan capitol over proposed gun laws
LANSING, Mich. (WNEM) - State lawmakers in Lansing are considering a series of gun control bills that could be voted on by the state Senate as early as Wednesday, March 15.
This all comes as organizations on both sides plan to hold rallies at the state capitol Wednesday morning.
“It’s a big rally. Gabby Giffords is coming in herself to help rally for some new gun safety legislation. We’re very excited and we expect a big crowd tomorrow,” said Jonathan Gold, president of the Michigan chapter of Giffords Gun Owners for Safety.
The event will feature former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, a gun violence survivor. She supports gun safety measures that are working their way through the state legislature, which would require guns to be stored safely away from children, background checks for firearm purchases, and would keep guns from people that are determined to be dangerous to themselves or others.
“I believe that this legislation, first of all, doesn’t violate anyone’s constitutional rights. And second of all, it provides for greater safety measures that are going to allow us to cut down on negligent deaths,” Gold said.
That’s not the only rally happening at the capitol on Wednesday.
Jon Rocha is a gun rights activist that is putting on a counter-protest.
“We’re just kind of protesting and standing out there saying, ‘Do not take those rights away from law-abiding citizens,’” Rocha said.
Rocha believes the proposed legislation violates the second amendment right to bear arms.
“We want to make sure that everybody has access to that. We don’t restrict people because, as we know, criminals will always find a way to get weapons. They will always find a way to break the law. And we want to ensure that people have the right to their self-preservation and defense,” Rocha said.
Rocha is quick to point out that his rally will be peaceful.
“This isn’t any kind of participation where we want to be violent. That’s the furthest from the truth,” Rocha said. “We want people to know that we are just regular people, regular citizens who want to just be those law-abiding citizens that we have been for hundreds of years to defend our rights.”
But Gold, who has been a gun instructor in Michigan for 25 years, insists that the majority of Michiganders support common sense gun legislation. He believes, if enacted, the bills would stand up to any legal challenges.
“I’ve read all of these bills and there’s nothing in these bills that are unconstitutional,” Gold said.
There is at least one thing representatives from both groups agree on: they want their supporters to arrive early.
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