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Whitmer, Giffords push for 'common sense' gun reform during rally at state capital

They all expressed support for an 11-bill gun safety package introduced by Democrats following shootings at school campuses.

LANSING, Mich. — There are renewed calls for passing gun violence prevention legislation following recent mass shootings in Michigan.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, other state leaders and gun safety advocates held a rally at the state capital Wednesday in support of what they call "common sense gun reform."

Whitmer was joined by Attorney General Dana Nessel, Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks, Speaker of the House Joe Tate and former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, a gun control advocate and shooting survivor.

"I'm learning so many things. How to walk. How to talk. And I'm fighting to make the country safer," said Giffords.

They all expressed support for an 11-bill gun safety package introduced by Democrats that would include safe storage laws, universal background checks and extreme risk protection orders.

The package was introduced after the shooting at Michigan State University that left three students dead and at Oxford High School that left four dead.

Colleen Bean attended the rally with her husband, Mike. They're big Gabby Giffords supporters and feel encouraged these proposed bills will pass.

"We have a Michigan State student and this is heartbreaking. At some point we need our legislators to have the courage to do it and get this done," Colleen said.

"The second amendment isn't impacted by this," said Mike. "We have to do the common sense thing and end the violence now."

There were also some people in the crowd in opposition of the bills because they believe they infringe on the second amendment.

They were blaring their bull horns in an attempt to drown out the Governor while she was speaking, though the Governor said she will not be distracted by the noise. 

"We are done with only thoughts and prayers," Whitmer said. "It's time for action!"

Democrats are expected to bring forward the bill package this week.

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