Michigan GOP lawmakers speak against gun legislation

FILE - Semi-automatic rifles are displayed at Coastal Trading and Pawn, Monday, July 18, 2022,...
FILE - Semi-automatic rifles are displayed at Coastal Trading and Pawn, Monday, July 18, 2022, in Auburn, Maine. President Joe Biden and the Democrats have become increasingly emboldened in pushing for stronger gun control. The Democratic-led House passed legislation in July to revive a 1990s-era ban on certain semi-automatic guns, with Biden’s vocal support. And the president pushed the weapons ban nearly everywhere that he campaigned this year.(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 9:41 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 7, 2023 at 5:17 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The gun debate was once again front and center on the steps of the Michigan Capitol Tuesday for the third week after a mass shooting down the road at Michigan State University.

Instead of thousands of students calling for gun reforms, a group of seven Republican lawmakers spoke against those reforms.

“If you’re going to continue to destroy freedom if you’re going to continue to have the government take over our lives and have a government dominate over us, we’re going to continue to see mental health issues,” said Rep. Steve Carra, (R) Three Rivers. “I think we need to focus on the root cause of mental health issues, the breakdown of the family unit, the destruction of our society, and what is causing these problems.”

During a legislative hearing last week, students said mental health should also be part of the conversation.

“We must incite further conversation. We must break down barriers that discourage students from reaching out. We must make sure no students are lost because of neglect,” said Sawyer McClure, MSU Student.

Tuesday’s event comes while MSU students are on spring break.

Rep. Carra said he waited to speak out in respect for the students.

“As a courtesy with the tragedy that happened and all the mourning of the loss of friends and family, that giving a little time before making these statements was appropriate,” said Rep. Carra.

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist questioned the timing.

“It is callus. It is against the will and stated opinions and desires of Michigan. The majority of people in Michigan want to see common sense gun violence prevention measures enacted,” said Lt. Gov. Gilchrist.

These are measures MSU students are asking for.

“The single thing I ask of you, our elected officials, is not to lose your humanity,” said McClure.

The hearings for the proposals in the House are scheduled to continue Wednesday. The Judiciary Chair committee chair said they expect to make changes based on feedback made during last week’s hearing.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has said she would sign gun reform proposals. She highlighted it as a top priority with the Democratic-controlled legislature.

Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman, Kristina Karamo was be joined by members of the Michigan House of Representatives and Michigan State Senate.

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