Michigan Lawmakers Discuss Options for Combating Gun Violence

The debate over gun control legislation has started in Michigan with lawmakers in Lansing taking a closer look at two different ideas.

They deal with possibly arming teachers and also taking away guns or limiting access to them for people with what’s been deemed a major mental health crisis.

Wednesday we learned Governor Rick Snyder will start looking at ways to combat gun violence in Michigan.

He’s expected to make his proposal in the coming weeks as legislators at the capitol debate what kind of action to take.

“Where we’re at right now is intolerable,” said Senator Steve Bieda.

The idea of arming teachers is a growing discussion across the county, including in Michigan.

Northern Michigan Representative Triston Cole says it could be an option for some schools, but not all.

“It’s not as simple as saying, ‘Hey, you’ve got a CPL, you can carry,’” explained Rep. Cole. “This is something where there is a lot of training that needs to be taken into consideration on a regular basis, there needs to be constant communication with local law enforcement.”

But Democrats say they’re not on board with the plan.

“When you think about it, you have a gun in a classroom and you have a lot of little inquisitive minds, and all you need is one or two seconds where there is inattentiveness and you have a tragedy,” said Sen. Bieda.

Another option on the table addresses guns and mental health.

“You see someone that exhibits traits that likely could be dangerous. It makes some sense as a precautionary measure to red flag them to look and see if they have guns and, if they do, at least temporarily make sure they don’t have those instruments,” explained Sen. Bieda.

But Rep. Cole says parts of that measure could see pushback.

“This is where we get into a really, really dangerous area, in regards of the constitutionality of doing something like that, of seizing someone’s property,” said Rep. Cole. “I don’t think we’re going to see this in a one size fits all reactionary vote or piece of legislation that’s based on emotion.”

Governor Snyder has endorsed the idea of somehow getting guns out of the hands of people with a major mental health crisis, at least temporarily.