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Gov. Whitmer urges gun control, including ‘red flag’ laws, universal background checks and more

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. (Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press/TNS)
January 27, 2023

When Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer gave her State of the State address on January 25, many of the issues she approached were expected: combating inflation by rolling back retirement taxes, expanding the Working Families Tax Credit and initiating pre-k for all MI children.

Once the issue of gun control was broached, however, Whitmer created discussion as she called for universal background checks, safe storage laws and “red flag” laws.

“The time for only thoughts and prayers is over,” she said, according to WOOD. “It’s time for common sense action to reduce violence in our communities.”

READ MORE: NY red flag law ruled unconstitutional

Controversial “red flag” laws allow others to petition the court to remove firearms from another they believe to be a risk to themselves or others. While some of the 19 states that currently have red flag laws grant the ability to petition only to law enforcement or family members, others allow roommates, healthcare providers and coworkers to lodge formal concerns.

Safe storage laws are also considered controversial, as gun owners could legally be held responsible if a gun stolen from their property is later used in the commission of a crime or to cause harm if they are found in violation of storage laws in their state.

Whitmer is known for her hardline stance on gun control, having previously enacted Operation Safe Neighborhoods, an initiative that lead law enforcement to conduct regular “check-ins” with released felony offenders.

According to, State Rep. Rachel Hood showed support for Whitmer’s gun control efforts, saying, “These are just common sense laws that have been effective in red states and blue states. This is just straightforward stuff.”

Others opposed Whitmer’s push for gun control, warning that such actions pose a threat to Second Amendment rights.

“It’s a fundamental right. I have a right to protect myself; every member of my constituency has a right to defend themselves. We have a right to hunt as well.” State Rep. Bryan Posthumus said.

“There’s no faster way to stop a bad guy with a gun than a good guy with a gun,” he added.