GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - As the issue of gun control again takes center stage, Kent County Sheriff Lawrence Stelma said banning assault rifles is not the answer.
At a media event Friday morning, the sheriff's department displayed an M-14 rifle and a camouflage AR-15 rifle. Both shoot the exact same bullets, but one is considered an assault rifle -- simply for cosmetic reasons, department officials said.
Those cosmetic differences include a bayonet load, a pistol grip and the paint.
The overall message from the department: guns don't kill people, people kill people.
"It isn't the looks of the weapon, it isn't the capacity of the weapon," Kent County Sheriff Lawrence Stelma said. "It's the person behind the trigger, it's the mental health issue, it's the proliferation of violence.
Allison Hoendervanger, a special education teacher with Saranac Community Schools, has been suspended as the accusations are investigated.
Jeffery Pratt was 28 years old.
Gavin Mason, 15, fell through thin ice over a Grandville pond and was in the water for 20 minutes.