Firearm violence prevention researchers discuss state’s new firearm laws in Lansing

April Zeoli (left) and Justin Heinze (right).

University of Michigan School of Public Health researchers recently visited Lansing, Mich. to discuss the state’s newly enacted firearm laws around extreme risk protection orders (also called red flag laws), domestic violence firearm restrictions, firearm storage, and background checks. The event was hosted by the University of Michigan Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention and the Office of Government Relations as part of the Wolverine Caucus—a forum held in Lansing for University of Michigan alumni and policymakers to meet with university experts on timely, relevant public policy subjects. 

This event was also held in partnership with the Joyce Foundation, a private, nonpartisan philanthropy that invests in public policies and strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region.

The panel discussion included:

Former state senator Buzz Thomas moderated the session with Marc Zimmerman, the Marshall H. Becker Collegiate Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education and co-director of the Institute, introducing the discussion with background on the university’s firearm injury prevention work.

Zeoli is one of the nation’s leading experts on policy interventions for firearm use in intimate partner and domestic violence and, separately, on extreme risk protection orders. During the discussion, Zeoli emphasized the importance of understanding the different roles communities, individuals, and agencies play in obtaining or facilitating extreme risk protection orders. Zeoli led the development of the Institute’s Extreme Risk Protection Order Information and Implementation Toolkit, which she noted as an important resource for the public.

Heinze shared his work with school communities and research on youth violence, an integral part of the conversation. In particular, he highlighted the role that schools can play in identifying individuals who may be at risk of harming themselves or others. Educating the school community on knowing the signs—or how to act on information from tools like anonymous reporting systems—is key to preventing firearm violence in schools.

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Public Health IDEAS for Preventing Firearm Injuries

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