Whitmer signs ‘red flag’ gun safety bills 

By: - May 22, 2023 4:37 pm

Former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords of Arizona and Michigan State University student Troy Forbush of East Lansing. | Ken Coleman

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday signed more bills establishing gun safety reforms during a news conference in Royal Oak. 

“No Michigander should fear going to school, work, the grocery store, or their own home because of gun violence,” said Whitmer. “Extreme risk protection orders have been proven to reduce suicides, save lives, and keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and violent criminals.”

Whitmer, a Democrat, called the measure “common sense action to reduce gun violence and keep families and communities safe.” 

She signed Senate Bill 83, sponsored by state Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak), that creates the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act — otherwise known as a “red flag” law. 

House Bill 4146, sponsored by state Rep. Kelly Breen (D-Novi), prohibits someone from purchasing new firearms while under an extreme risk protection order. House Bill 4147, sponsored by state Rep. Julie Brixie (D-Meridian Twp.), provides for service of process for extreme risk protection order actions and waive court fees. House Bill 4148, sponsored by state Rep. Stephanie Young (D-Detroit), places sentencing guidelines for making a false statement in support of an extreme risk protection order.


The bills were part of a Democratic package introduced after the Feb. 13 mass shooting at Michigan State University that killed three students.

Last month at MSU, Whitmer signed the first bills in the package that require safe storage of firearms and ammunition and background checks.

Former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords of Arizona, a 2011 gun violence survivor, attended the Royal Oak event, as well as Attorney General Dana Nessel, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy and Michigan State University student Troy Forbush, who survived the Feb. 13 campus shooting.

McMorrow, who helped to host the event, said that “countless families across Michigan are devastated by the epidemic of gun violence.”

“The data is clear that extreme risk protection orders are a commonsense, effective tool to keep guns out of the hands of those who may hurt themselves or others and are already employed by 19 states across the country,” said McMorrow.  

Dylan Morris, an Oxford High School senior who survived the Oxford shooting in 2021 and later founded “No Future Without Today,” testified in support of the gun safety legislation and described the signing as “historic.” 

“This a huge accomplishment today, especially in preventing the continued proliferation of suicides, mass shootings and everyday community violence,” said Morris. 


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Ken Coleman
Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman writes about Southeast Michigan, history and civil rights. He is a former Michigan Chronicle senior editor and served as the American Black Journal segment host on Detroit Public Television. He has written and published four books on Black life in Detroit.