Whitmer wants Michigan to be the gun safety leader


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is promising to bring together all sides in the gun debate to find some common ground. She is also saying that gun safety is not her top issue at the moment.

The governor spent Monday fielding phone calls from Michigan citizens. The very first one was about too many guns on the streets.

“Michigan needs to confront something like what we’ve seen play out in Ohio and Texas, and I don’t even like saying that out loud. But we have to be mindful of the fact that there’s improvements that I think we can make with regard to gun safety and policy here in Michigan,” Whitmer, a Democrat, told reporters. “Michigan has an opportunity to lead. I don’t want to be reactive. I want to be proactive.”

That is easier said than done as the Republican-led state Legislature has refused to expand gun safety laws and Democrats do not have enough votes to go it alone.

The governor met with GOP leaders Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield of Levering as well as Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey of Clark Lake Friday and came away upbeat about finding some common ground.

But Whitmer said she does not want to introduce the gun issue in the middle of trying to fix the roads and address the state budget.

“The top priority is and has been fixing the damn roads,” she said

The governor knows if she tosses the gun issue into the mix now, it could hurt her chances of getting her top priority adopted, but she is committed to doing it at some point.

“I know I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t at least try to convene everyone around the table and see how we can make Michigan laws better and keep our people safe,” Whitmer added.

—This report originally appeared on WLNS.com.

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