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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Gun safety activists rally for domestic violence bills at state Capitol

Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action pose on State Capitol steps
Everytown for Gun Safety
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Hundreds of volunteers gathered at the state Capitol on Tuesday morning. Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action advocated for two bills; one would make it illegal in Michigan for convicted domestic abusers to own or buy firearms. The other is meant to close the "boyfriend gap," which makes it harder to convict abusers who are not married to their victims. House Bills 4497 and 4498 were introduced last April and no action has been taken since they were referred to the Judiciary Commitee in the state House.

Emily Durbin is the Michigan chapter leader for MDA. She says the bills have bipartisan support.   

"There's a real enormous gap between where the lawmakers are and where their constituents are, bills that keep families safe from domestic violence; nearly everyone agrees that domestic abusers shouldn't have access to guns," she says.

The advocacy groups say they've scheduled almost 70 meetings with lawmakers today hoping to advance the bills. Durbin says this is a chance for legislators to show they understand how guns and domestic violence overlap.

"The intersection between domestic violence and guns is particularly deadly, so if an abuser has a gun they're five times more likely to kill the person that they've been abusing," she says.  

State Representative Graham Filler (R-DeWitt), chair of the Judiciary Committee, could not be reached for comment.

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