Granholm Cracks Down On Violent Video Games
2 new laws are signed Wednesday
By Kirk Yuhnke
Mid Michigan - (09/14/05)--Gov. Jennifer Granholm is getting tough when it comes to underage children buying violent and sexually explicit video games.
She was in Flint Wednesday to put her seal of approval on two new laws. They basically make it illegal for any store to sell video games rated M or NC-17 to anyone under the age of 17.
The governor says she wants Wednesday's press conference to send a message to stores that are thinking about selling to kids.
Gene Mayhew is a manger at Jelly Beans. They have a store on Fenton Road that sells plenty of video games. He says kids try to buy adult games. He says that doesn't fly when he's running the shop.
"You've got to have mom or dad here if you're going to buy something with parental guidance on it," he said.
And that's exactly what the governor is forcing stores across the state to do.
"We want to put the ammunition in the hands of parents," Granholm said. "If a parent wants their children to have these games, then they can buy it for them."
Wednesday she signed two laws that will help police enforce that -- something the Genesee County sheriff says he plans to do with more sting operations.
"Every family wants to feel that their kids are not getting materials that they ought not to have," said Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell.
Starting Dec. 1, if you plan on buying a game with an M rating then you better plan on bringing an ID with you. If you're underage, then you better plan on bringing mom and dad instead.
Mayhew says where he works not much will change; they already enforce the game ratings. But he's happy to see the new laws.
"It makes the parents more aware of what their kids are buying if they're going to have to be accompanied by the parent to buy whatever the hippest video game is or the most violent thing is," he said.
If a store is caught trying to sell any of the adult games to someone under 17, there's a pretty heavy penalty -- a $5,000 fine and the possibility of up to one year behind bars.
The governor says the next step is educating parents about what their children are playing.