Bloomfield Township trustees, police highlight the importance of gun safety

By: Mary Beth Almond | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published June 22, 2022

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BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — The Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees recently proclaimed June 3, 2022, as Gun Violence Awareness Day.

The proclamation passed unanimously during the May 23 Board of Trustees meeting.

Nationally, EveryTown for Gun Safety says 40,620 people die by guns in an average year.

Michigan has the 29th highest rate of gun deaths in the U.S. with 1,270 gun deaths every year and a rate of 12.7 deaths per 100,000 people, according to statistics from EveryTown for Gun Safety.

In one line of the proclamation, the Board of Trustees said “in coordination with the Bloomfield Township Police Department, the Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees pledges to encourage responsible gun ownership to help keep our citizens safe.”

“It’s incredibly important … and we need to do everything we can,” Trustee Valerie Murray said.

“It is not about Second Amendment rights. It’s about if you own a gun, to properly secure a gun or make sure it stays in the hands of law abiding citizens who rightfully are trained to carry them,” Capt. Jim Gallagher of the Bloomfield Township Police Department added.

The Bloomfield Township Police Department provides free firearm safety kits to residents through a partnership with Project Child Safe, a nationwide firearms safety education program. The safety kits, which include a gunlock, are available from the front desk at the Police Department, located at 4200 Telegraph Road. The locks fit on most types of handguns, rifles and shotguns, and will help prevent a child, or any other unauthorized person, from accessing a firearm in your home.

At the state level, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also declared June 3, 2022, as Gun Violence Awareness Day.

In the proclamation, Whitmer said “gun violence prevention is more important than ever as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to exacerbate gun violence after more than a year of increased gun sales, increased calls to suicide and domestic violence hotlines, and an increase in city gun violence.”

The proclamation also stated that “Americans are 25 times more likely to die by gun homicide than people in other high-income countries,” and “as of late May, there have been nearly 700 deaths involving guns in Michigan.”

To help regulate handguns, Michigan has a number of rules — which state officials said may not apply to those having a concealed pistol license or those specifically exempt by law from a CPL and carrying their handgun in accordance with their license or exemption.

The regulations include:

• A person must be at least 18 years of age to hunt with (possess) a handgun.

• Handguns cannot be borrowed or loaned to another person other than provided for under the CPL.

• While in the field, handguns must be carried in plain view. Carrying a handgun in a holster in plain view is permitted.

• People may transport their registered handguns while en route to and from their hunting or target shooting area; however, handguns, including BB guns larger than .177 caliber and all pellet guns, must be unloaded and in a closed case designed for the storage of firearms and cannot be readily accessible to any occupant of the vehicle.

• It is a crime for certain felons to possess firearms, including rifles and shotguns, in Michigan.

• Nonresidents must have a CPL or a license to purchase, carry or transport issued by their home state in their possession in order to legally carry or transport a handgun in Michigan.

For more information regarding statewide handgun regulations, or concealed weapons and firearms laws, contact your local police department. The Bloomfield Township Police Department can be reached at (248) 433-7755.