Lansing, Michigan (WLNS) – Michigan lawmakers on both sides of the aisle hope to amend the current firearms charter.
This is one of the last, which automatically provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years, even if the weapon was not used and not threatened during the commission of a particular crime.
That’s why now two Michigan representatives, one on each side of the aisle, are trying to change that.
“I think most people think that’s what we’re proposing today,” said Republican Luke Mirman of the 88th constituency. “It’s when you commit a crime and you are accused of a firearm, then you actually used a firearm in committing the crime.
“If you use a gun, wave it, address it, say you’re going to use it, it’s still a two-year offense, if you don’t use it, it’s in a glove box, you never refer when it’s in a bedroom upstairs at home, never threatened to be used, the judge is entitled to discretion ”.
Co-author of the bill Kira Bolden is a Democrat. She is glad it is getting support from Republicans.
“I am very happy and encouraged that this is a bipartisan bill,” said Bolden of the 35th constituency. “We have many groups that support this type of legislation from all aspects of our political process.”
It has also been shown that firearms laws disproportionately affect blacks.
“If you have something like a firearm where 80 percent of the people convicted of crimes are black Americans, it deserves special attention.”
Mike Lynn is the founder of The Advocates Firearms Academy, a place where people can get a permit for hidden weapons for free. He has insisted on such changes for years and is glad they have been introduced, but more than that, he says he wants people to see the big picture.
“The direction I want to see more is to make people understand why,” Lynn said. “When people hear this, they think they are criminals or want to release criminals, I hear it again and again.
“This bill they are trying to change this law, I want more people to understand why they want to change this law and that they want not only to release criminals because it is not.”
The idea of abolishing mandatory penalties only for the presence of weapons during a crime is not new.
In fact, Ingham County Attorney Carol Simon said last summer that her office would no longer automatically charge a fine for firearms.
Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wigglesworth called such a policy “garbage.”
“I don’t want anyone here to think I want to fill Ingham County Jail,” he said last August. “Actually, that’s the last thing I want to do. But there must be consequences. “
Lynn says the problem is that this charge is mandatory, even if the gun has nothing to do with the crime.
“It doesn’t give a place because the judge has no indulgence not to give you time or give you some thoughtful program,” he said. “So it’s really a double-risk situation.”
He says historically this has been a problem here in Lansing.
“These kids for the most part live in a war zone,” Lynn said. “Some kids don’t want to be criminals, they don’t want to shoot or shoot them, but they have to protect themselves to carry.”
There is still no schedule for when this could happen, but Meerman and Bolden, co-authors of the bill, say they hope it can go to the polls next month.