Detroit Police | Susan J. Demas
The Detroit City Council last week took a step closer to creating gun-free zones at events and in popular parts of downtown.
The council on Tuesday approved two resolutions that set the stage for gun-free zones. The first called on state lawmakers to pass a Senate bill that would authorize municipalities to create gun-free zones in public spaces. The bill would amend the Michigan Firearm and Ammunition Act 319 of 1990, which prohibits cities from establishing gun-free zones in public spaces.
The second resolution orders city staff to draft an ordinance that would require public or private events that receive a permit from the city and are expected to exceed 500 people to be gun-free zones. The resolution also endorses the establishment of gun-free zones in Greektown, the riverfront, Hart Plaza, Spirit Plaza, and Campus Martius.
“One of the primary responsibilities of this Detroit City Council is to protect the health, safety and welfare of all citizens of Detroit,” Councilwoman Mary Waters, who proposed the resolutions, said in a written statement Wednesday. “Despite bullying by representatives of the National Rifle Association (NRA) to weaken Detroit City Council resolve, we fulfilled our duty to protect Detroit citizens against unacceptable gun violence and I thank my Detroit City Council colleagues for standing strong.”
Waters proposed gun-free zones following a rash of shootings downtown last month. Police responded by increasing patrols in the area and enforcing a curfew for minors.
Waters said it’s also important to address the root causes of gun violence.
“We must also deal with unacceptable poverty, systemic racism, illiteracy, and disintegration of Black families resulting in the streets raising our children with street values that don’t give a damn about human life, respect or love for self and one another,” Waters said. “We can and must do better by restoring real family structure and love to Detroit as the foundation to ending street violence.”
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