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Stateside Podcast: Conservative county rejects gun laws

Screen shot of Sheriff Murphy's video statement on red flag laws
Screenshot from the Livingston County MI Sheriff's Office Facebook page

In the wake of major mass shootings in Michigan, Democrats in control of the state Legislature have done something previous legislative sessions have not: address gun violence through policy changes.

These changes include bills signed into law by Governor Whitmer that require safe storage of firearms at home, and universal background checks.

Now lawmakers are wrapping up work on the creation of extreme risk protective orders, or “red flag” laws. These orders would allow the courts to temporarily take guns away from people who pose a danger to themselves and others.

But the thing about laws is that you need people to enforce them to actually work.

Livingston County sheriff Michael Murphy insinuated to a local news station that he doesn’t plan to enforce a red flag law. Sheriff Murphy posted an explanation to Facebook.

Today on the Stateside Podcast, we look at what it means to Livingston County – and to Michigan as a whole – when an elected official says they might ignore state law.


Jon King, journalist

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Rachel Ishikawa joined Michigan Public in 2020 as a podcast producer. She produced Kids These Days, a limited-run series that launched in the summer of 2020.