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Tlaib introduces bill promoting safe gun storage: "Doing nothing isn't an option"

City of Kirkland

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) says “doing nothing isn’t an option” when it comes to gun violence and children—and that’s why she’s introducing the Safe Storage Saves Lives Actin the U.S. House of Representatives.

Tlaib unveiled the legislation Friday at the Children’s Hospital of Detroit. It would require firearm sellers to provide gun locks with every purchase.

Tlaib said firearms have become the leading cause of death for children and teens in the U.S., while the country has experienced more than 290 mass shootings so far this year.

“And it's not just the mass shootings,” Tlaib added. “It's everyday violence that doesn't even make the news anymore. It's creating trauma and mental health impacts on our children in our communities every single day.”

Tlaib said promoting safe storage will prevent accidental gun deaths among children. She said the federal legislation complements similar measures in a number of states, including Michigan. Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently signed new gun safety laws, including safe storage requirements for homes with children.

State Representative Stephanie Young (D-Detroit) said securing firearms will also help prevent suicides, which account for a majority of all gun deaths nationwide. She said most gun owners are responsible and well-meaning, but many still don’t take the necessary steps to secure their weapons.

“For you law-abiding gun owners — we don't want your guns,” Young said. “I know I don’t want your gun. But can you do the right thing with the gun? That's what we're talking about.”

A number of groups and activists focused on combating gun violence support Tlaib’s bill. They include Mia Reid, a leader of the Detroit chapter of Moms Demand Action.

Reid noted that more than 120 Americans are killed by guns every day, with Blacks killed at roughly ten times the rate of whites. Reid lost her own son to gun violence in 2011.

“We can do something. We can do better,” Reid said.” I am asking you as a gun violence survivor—for our community, for our loved ones, for the babies.”

Rallies and other events dedicated to ending gun violence are taking place across Michigan and the country this June, which is National Gun Violence Awareness Month.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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