The Michigan chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement in response to the fatal shooting of Calvin Munerlyn, a Flint security officer killed after not allowing a woman to enter a Family Dollar without a mask, according to prosecutors. Nearly 150 people attended a candlelight vigil Sunday night, and a makeshift memorial was started outside the Family Dollar for the security officer Monday.
“Our communities continue to face not one but two public health crises,” said Jon Gold, a gun owner and firearms instructor, a volunteer with Michigan Moms Demand Action, and a member of the Everytown Survivor Network. “My heart is with the victim’s family, and my anger about the senseless gun violence in our state is with the legislature. We need them to be focused on common sense gun laws that protect Michiganders — especially as gun sales and tensions rise during this pandemic.”
An analysis of new data from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) estimates the number of guns sold in Michigan in April 2020 was 114 percent higher compared to April 2019.
Last week, heavily armed demonstrators stormed the Michigan Capitol to resist stay-at-home orders that Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. Demonstrators demanded to be let on to the House floor, reportedly screamed “Heil Whitmer,” ignored social distancing requirements, and openly carried military-style firearms. Michigan law does not prohibit civilians from openly carrying guns in public without permits or safety training. Extremists have used similar intimidation tactics at the Charlottesville rally, the Richmond gun rally, and other protests.
More than 1,100 people die by gun violence in Michigan every year. Of all homicides in Michigan, 75 percent involve a gun.
Statistics about gun violence in the state are available here, and information on how Michigan’s gun laws compare to other states’ overall is available here. Michigan Moms Demand Action volunteers are available for interviews.