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Whitmer: New MI gun laws will make police safer

Interior of the state Capitol's rotunda.
Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
State capitol building

Governor Gretchen Whitmer told a police officers’ group Friday that Michigan’s new gun laws will make law enforcement safer.

The Democratic governor spoke to the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives at a symposium in Detroit.

Whitmer said gun violence is the leading cause of death among children in the U.S. But she said it’s also a growing danger to police officers across the country.

“Gun deaths among law enforcement officers have been rising,” she said. “Your jobs are hard enough. We need to help you do your job so that your family doesn’t worry about whether or not you’re going to be able to come home at the end of the day.”

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund says 64 officers were shot and killed in the line of duty in 2022.

Whitmer signed a law earlier this week to require guns to be secured where children can’t get them.

Another new law will require universal background checks for gun purchases.

The governor has also called on the Legislature to approve a “red flag” bill to allow court orders to temporarily remove guns from someone deemed a threat.

“These are measures that we know can help get guns out of the hands of people that pose a threat to themselves or to others or to our law enforcement,” she said.

The Legislature, which is controlled by Democrats, could send Whitmer “red flag” bills as soon as next week.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.