Mothers and fathers. Sisters and brothers. Students, neighbors and friends. From big cities to small rural towns, gun violence plagues Michiganders in every corner of our state, leaving an irrevocable mark on too many lives. As Michigan families hug their loved ones a little tighter after the three mass shootings that occurred during the weekend of June 15, including at Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad in Rochester Hills, and another gun incident at a community pool in Kalamazoo on June 20, the need to address this crisis is more urgent than ever.

Every June, we recognize National Gun Violence Awareness Month to honor communities shattered by gun violence and raise awareness of this growing issue. During this month, people across the country also wear orange — the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others — to commemorate the life of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot and killed on a playground in 2013 just one week after she performed with her high school marching band at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. 

Gun violence touches the lives of many Michiganders, leaving a lasting impact on families and communities. Read about the lives forever changed by gun violence at

Hadiya’s story is one piece of a much larger public health epidemic that claims the lives of more than 44,000 Americans, including 1,400 Michiganders, each year. Here in Michigan, we’ve seen the rate of gun deaths increase by 25% since 2012, and firearms are now the leading cause of death for children and teens. In addition to the human toll this crisis creates, gun violence also comes with a steep price tag for our state — costing Michigan approximately $16.8 billion each year, of which $380 million is paid by taxpayers.

As Michiganders watched the crisis grow for years, the state Legislature failed to act, choosing only to offer their thoughts and prayers. It was not until Democrats secured a trifecta in Lansing that those thoughts and prayers were finally accompanied with action.

Sen. Sam Singh offers support to constituents from the MSU community, providing comfort and an open ear as students advocate for common-sense legislation to avoid future tragedies. Photo Credit: Jessica Case, Michigan Senate Democrats.

Less than two months into the 102nd Legislature, yet another mass shooting hit close to home at Michigan State University where three students were killed and five more injured. The shooting devasted families across Michigan, including several state legislators. Two of the students killed — Arielle Anderson and Brian Fraser — were constituents of Sen. Kevin Hertel, an MSU alumnus. Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks’ daughter was a student at MSU during the shooting. Former East Lansing Mayor Sen. Sam Singh and Sen. Jeremy Moss are both former MSU students with deep ties to campus. While a bullet may only strike a single person, its effects can ripple through communities and leave an enduring mark. 

Students, survivors, and advocates join Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, and members of the Michigan Legislature to rally in support of evidence-based policies designed to address our gun violence crisis. Photo Credit: Shannon Schultz, Michigan Senate Democrats. 

After meeting with students, survivors, and Michiganders and hearing their calls for common-sense measures to be implemented, our Majority for the People swiftly responded and delivered a slate of gun violence prevention legislation that:  

  • Strengthens background checks to close the private sale loophole. 
  • Promotes safe storage by creating child access protection laws to keep legal firearms safely and securely stored and out of the hands of children and teens.  
  • Allows courts to issue Extreme Risk Protection Orders to temporarily intervene and suspend a person’s access to firearms if they show clear warning signs of violence and pose an immediate threat to themselves or others. 

These bills were signed into law in the spring of 2023 and took effect on February 13, 2024. Within the first few months of their implementation, these laws have already begun to show positive results. For example, local courts have exercised their authority to grant protection orders to remove firearms from the home of a 10-year-old child threatening to shoot his classmates, a husband threatening to kill his wife in the midst of a separation, and individuals experiencing mental health crises. 

Sen. Stephanie Chang speaks on the floor of the Senate chamber in support of legislation to disarm convicted domestic abusers, helping provide relief to survivors across Michigan. 


Keeping their momentum going through Fall 2023, Senate Democrats passed legislation to close dangerous gaps in state law and protect survivors of domestic violence by preventing those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes from possessing, using, purchasing or carrying a firearm in Michigan for eight years. By adopting this bipartisan legislative package, Michigan joined 31 states — including several states with Republican-led Legislatures — who have enhanced protections for survivors of domestic violence. Recently, a similar law from Texas was just upheld in an 8-1 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court — demonstrating that these provisions are not just common sense but are constitutional.

Most recently, Senate Democrats took action to protect voters from armed intimidation at the polls — an issue that has become more prevalent during recent election cycles. The legislation would prohibit an individual from possessing a firearm at or near election spaces such as a polling place, an early voting site, or an absentee ballot drop box, to ensure voters can cast their ballot safely, securely, and without undue influence or intimidation.

In addition to legislative action, Senate Democrats also included critical investments in the 2024 budget to curb gun violence in our state and keep Michigan communities safe. Among the many investments was $800,000 to create the Office of Community Violence Services and $6 million for the office to provide grants to community-based violence intervention programs that are working to reduce firearm-related injuries and fatalities. To further address firearm suicide, Senate Democrats also secured $1.2 million for veteran suicide prevention efforts and other well-being initiatives to support Michigan’s nearly 550,000 military veterans and their families. 

Sen. Kevin Hertel meets with gun violence prevention advocates from Grosse Pointe North High School to discuss ways they can work together to build safer communities for all who call our state home. Photo Credit: Megan Dombrowski, Michigan Senate Democrats.

These pieces of legislation and investments were born from conversations with a diverse group of Michiganders including survivors, victims’ families, public health experts, first responders, and students — conversations that are still ongoing. Ahead of Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 7, Sen. Hertel met with student advocates to listen to their experiences, talk about the importance of civic engagement from young people, and discuss ways the Legislature can continue to address Michigan’s gun violence crisis.  

Sen. Mallory McMorrow speaks in support of a resolution recognizing June 2024 as Gun Violence Awareness Month in Michigan. 


As we continue to combat this growing public health concern, Senate Democrats remain committed to raising awareness of this issue and advancing evidence-based policies to keep our communities safe. Earlier this month, our Majority for the People approved a resolution introduced by Sen. Mallory McMorrow to honor and remember all victims and survivors of gun violence, including those affected by the tragedies at Michigan State University and Oxford High School.

Together, we can and will build a future free from gun violence.

Read more from the Michigan Senate Democrats at