Authorities in Michigan have removed hundreds of illegal guns from communities in the state, taking the firearms from individuals with prior criminal histories who are not permitted to possess the weapons. Ammunition and drugs have also been swept up in seizures, the state noted.
The seizures have been conducted as part of an initiative called Operation Safe Neighborhoods, which has involved the cooperation of state and local personnel working in law enforcement. The sweeps they have done have evidently targeted individuals on probation and parole across Michigan, groups numbering into the tens of thousands, and authorities have completed a total of nearly 3,400 checks. Guns recovered by officials have reached 389 and counting, according to an update from Tuesday of this week.
Michigan is currently led by Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who won another term in office last year no matter the many, many political attacks waged against her by Donald Trump and allies of the former president. She has support in the efforts that are part of Operation Safe Neighborhoods from local officials including the mayor and police chief in Detroit. “As a former prosecutor, protecting public safety is a top priority,” Whitmer said. “By getting nearly 400 illegal firearms out of the hands of criminals before they can be used in the commission of a crime, we are taking action to keep families and communities safe. Earlier this year, I signed legislation establishing universal background checks and safe storage requirements, and I will work with anyone to reduce gun violence.”
She has indeed also signed universal background checks for gun purchases into state law, establishing a policy that polling very consistently shows is overwhelmingly supported by broad groups of Americans. Whitmer has also helped lead the way with establishing firm protections for abortion in her state, where residents approved an addition of such rights to the state Constitution. She’s also signed a repeal of a pre-Roe abortion ban after the U.S. Supreme Court undid their ruling that temporarily stopped it.
Nearby Minnesota, where like in Michigan, Democrats also secured control of the legislature and governorship in last year’s elections, is also set to soon join the list of states with universal background checks following new legislative approval and the governor’s support. Minnesota is also setting up the legal framework for risk protection orders, as they’re known, which mean temporary restrictions on access to firearms for individuals deemed potentially dangerous. In general, third parties must seek such orders from the relevant authorities.