Lawmaker wants to ban tear gas in Michigan

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A lawmaker from Holt introduced a bill today that would prohibit tear gas from being used on crowds.

Tear gas is considered a chemical weapon and is banned in international warfare, but is legal in all 50 states.

In Michigan, police used tear gas during protests in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Detroit.

“Tear gas can be used to silence viewpoints with which those in power do not agree. This offends the U.S. Constitution, and it should alarm every American,” said State Rep. Kara Hope who introduced House Bill 5925. “In addition to harming human health, tear gas poses a very real threat to the First Amendment and its guarantees of the right to peaceful assembly, the right to petition the government, and the right to free speech. It is past time to stop using chemical weapons in Michigan.”

Since tear gas cannot be controlled or directed after it is deployed, homes and businesses that were not the police’s intended targets are affected. Tear gas can remain in furniture, fabric, and children’s toys long after it was used posing a larger human health threat after a crowd has dispersed.

A study by the U.S. military found that 50% of recruits exposed to tear gas needed medical treatment while 90% had acute respiratory illness symptoms.

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