Legislation to implement gun safety reforms in Michigan were publicly supported by MCC as “steps on a journey toward a culture that values life, recognizes and includes the isolated among us, and seeks to bring safety to our communities,” according to MCC testimony delivered to House and Senate committees.
MCC testified in favor of legislation introduced to require gun owners to safely store their guns at home (safe storage), expand background check requirements on gun purchases (universal background checks), and implement extreme protection orders intended to temporarily remove guns from people who may pose a threat to themselves or others (extreme risk protection orders or red flag laws).
MCC Policy Advocate Paul Stankewitz noted the Catholic Conference’s support for the bills stem from MCC’s opposition to violence in society because of its threat to human life.
“We need to begin taking policy actions, as a society, in a coherent, holistic manner to embrace and foster a culture of life,” Stankewitz said. “We need to face facts, that gun violence, be it homicide or suicide, is a burden upon our society, devalues life, and is degrading our culture.”
Stankewitz noted that this is not just about the shooting that took place at Michigan State University in February 2023, or at Oxford High School in 2021, but also “about what happens on our urban streets, in our small towns, and in homes across our state, each and every week.”
MCC urged lawmakers to go beyond the policies to implement a public awareness campaign so that gun owners are aware that they need to secure their guns safely or face penalties. MCC also called for greater attentiveness to and awareness of those who feel alienated or isolated from society, as well as for meeting the mental health needs of people.