Tom Hillen -
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) -- A West Michigan congressman has been appointed to co-chair a congressional work group to tackle gun reform in America.
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, and Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, have been tasked with heading up a bipartisan panel called Working Group on Response to Parkland Shooting.
"Maybe this time is different, maybe we can actually get something done to prevent something tragic like this from happening again," Upton said.
Upton and congresswoman Dingell are already hard at work trying to come up with a bipartisan bill to curb gun violence in America. They have sent a request to a congressional group made up of 48 Democrats and Republicans to hear what the members would consider voting for.
"I'm also not afraid to take on anyone when I think they are on the wrong side," Upton said. "I supported the crime bill back in '94 that called for background checks. I voted to expand those last year. I also co-sponsored legislation to ban the bump stock something I hope can be part of a package as well."
When it comes to schools, Upton is still in search of a viable solution.
"We don't want them to look like prisons, obviously there is a debate about teachers being able to have concealed weapons, I don't happen to think that is a good idea," said Upton.
Upton, who said he is an optimist by nature, is encouraged by the bipartisan conversation held earlier this week at the White House.
"These kids are defenseless and the last thing you want, particularly as a parent, is that they feel threatened in some way," Upton said.