Ypsilanti City Council to consider resolution asking for repeal of Michigan's 'stand your ground' law
The Ypsilanti City Council will consider a resolution calling for the repeal of Michigan’s “stand your ground” law and a strengthening of firearm regulations in the state.
If approved, the resolution would be sent to representatives statewide including Gov. Rick Snyder, Senate majority leader Randy Richardville and many others.
The resolution will be taken up at Tuesday’s regular city council meeting and specifically targets Michigan's Self Defense Act of 2006, which is similar to Florida's law that was at the middle of the controversial George Zimmerman trial.
In the resolution, the Ypsilanti City Council calls on the legislature and governor “to adopt common sense gun regulations such as improved background checks, strengthened gun-free zones, and limits on the sale of high-capacity magazines.”
Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber said the resolution was put on the agenda by ward 1 council members Ricky Jefferson and Lois Richardson.
Schreiber said he agrees that there is too much gun violence and noted that he was a part of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign that helped lobby for strengthening gun control measures.
“I think the stand your ground law needs to be looked at and I would certainly like the (state) legislature to do so,” Schreiber said.
The resolution states that stand your ground laws “threaten to lead to unnecessary use of deadly force by eliminating the common law duty to retreat and break off a confrontation where that can be accomplished with reasonable safety.”
It also highlights a Tampa Bay Times review that found that of the 192 times there was a death and the stand your ground law was used to free the killer in Florida, the victim was unarmed 70 percent of the time.
The resolution further states that a Texas A&M study of states with stand your ground laws “saw no drop in robberies, burglaries and aggravated assaults, and an increase in murders." It also cited a study that found white-on-black shootings were more likely to be justified than black-on-white shootings.
Jefferson said he is concerned about the increase of documented cases that show that the law has been used against African-Americans and he said he there is too much room for abuse as it is written now.
"There is room for misinterpretation and a lack of clarity, so they need to look at the law again and see if they can find a way to protect citizens a little better," he said.
The city of Ann Arbor recently approved a similar resolution.
Tom Perkins is a freelance reporter. Contact the AnnArbor.com news desk at email@example.com.