LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Michele Hoitenga, R-Manton, released the following statement Thursday after a package of bills designed to restrict gun rights was passed in the Senate:
“These initiatives will do a couple of things very well. They will greatly burden the individual’s right to self-defense, and they will avoid targeting any issue that could actually alleviate violence and tragedy. Unfortunately, these are not good things.
“Red flag laws aim to remove firearms from individuals deemed to be a danger to themselves or others using a firearm. While this is sold as a noble venture, an incredibly high level of government accuracy and deliberation is — or should be — required before systematically taking away a person’s inalienable right to self-defense.
“Yet these proposed red flag laws require the lowest standard of evidence available to American courts. These bills set aside the most basic notion of American law — the presumption of innocence — and beg other procedural questions, including whether and when the individual targeted for firearm confiscation should benefit from the right to a lawyer. While the Constitution of the United States requires due process, these bills seem to simply ignore it.
“The ‘safe storage’ mandates that have been proposed are also concerning. Storing a tool to protect yourself and your family is one of the most intimate expressions of safety and freedom. Even our state Constitution guarantees our right to defend ourselves.
“Our legislative efforts would be better spent narrowly drafting regulations that would leave law-abiding gun owners unpunished for doing all the right things. Or more importantly, working together on meaningful and effective efforts to enhance safety measures within our schools, adequately address our growing mental health crisis, and ensure that our prosecutors are enforcing the laws that we already have on our books.”