Republican lawmakers in the state of Michigan held a press conference on Tuesday in Lansing to announce new legislation that was crafted in response to the Lucas Gerhard case.
Big League Politics broke the story weeks ago of how the 20-year-old criminal justice student was kicked out of Lake Superior State University, charged with making terror threats, and imprisoned for 83 days because he posted a picture of a rifle on Snapchat that triggered a leftist female on campus.
Rep. John Reilly of Lake Orion has led the charge in creating awareness of the case and has devised legislation to stop prosecutorial abuse of this magnitude from happening again.
“When I first ran for office, I never thought I would be here today introducing legislation to explain the difference between a joke and a terror threat,” Reilly said. “I never thought our society was so fragile that someone’s life could be ruined by telling a joke among friends.”
He explained that Gerhard’s intent did not matter, whether he meant snow or he meant that he was going to trigger some left-wing snowflakes was irrelevant. It is Gerhard’s 1st Amendment right as a free American to express himself as he wishes.
“This case sits at the nexus of 1st Amendment rights, 2nd Amendment rights, campus culture, cancel culture, privacy, due process of law, and the weaponizing of the criminal justice system,” Reilly said.
Reilly mentioned that this legislation would likely be the first in a series of bills to address constitutional abuses, particularly on college campuses, which have grown even more hostile toward conservatives since President Trump’s election in 2016.
House Bill 5483 would make the statute pertaining to terror threats applicable only when a specific violent threat is made toward an individual or property. The threat will also have to come from the individual or an agent of the individual, rather than an unrelated third party. The legislation would also institute a reasonable listener standard so that opportunistic prosecutors could not make an example of someone like Gerhard for political purposes.
“I hope people are noticing who and what is driving the effort to make it dangerous to speak freely,” Reilly explained. “I am a politician. I signed up to be publicly attacked, and I’m fine with that, but Lucas Gerhard was a student with every expectation that the university that he was undoubtedly paying a huge amount of money to attend was going to treat him honorably, help him succeed in defending his rights, and stand up for free speech for all by supporting him when his rights were attacked. But no, the total opposite happened.”
Reilly was joined at the press conference by Lucas’ father Mark, a retired Marine Colonel who works for the federal government; Rep. Beau LaFave, the state legislator from Marquette who represents Michigan’s upper peninsula where Gerhard used to go to school; and Tom Lambert, the President of Michigan Open Carry.
“While this is playing out in real time, the school wasn’t seeing this as a general public safety concern,” Mark Gerhard said. “It was only afterwards when they decided that they were going to pursue this along with the prosecutor.”
“This is a gross miscarriage of justice,” LaFave said. “This shouldn’t happen to you, Lucas. You’re a nice guy. You didn’t do anything wrong for exercising your Second Amendment right and talking about it with your First Amendment right.”
Lambert drew a parallel between Gerhard’s case and red flag laws that are currently active in the Michigan state legislature.
“The standards of due process here, while they fail, they are at a certain level… The proposals for red flag laws reduce those protections. They lower those levels,” Lambert said.
“If these are the problems that we are already seeing under existing law, what is it going to be like for good people when we take those protections away – when we reduce those protections? Due process exists for a reason,” he added.
Chippewa County Prosecutor Rob Stratton, whose office has attempted to make an example of Gerhard, would not give a comment regarding the allegations of impropriety in how the case has been handled.
“The prosecutor’s office cannot comment as to the facts or evidence against Mr. Gerhard because it seriously risks impacting his constitutional guaranteed right to a fair trial,“ Stratton told 9&10 News.
Gerhard’s next court date is scheduled for Mar. 18. The legislation is currently in the House Committee on Military, Veterans and Homeland Security where it awaits further action.
New Group of Turncoat Gun Owners is Being Launched to Push for Civilian Disarmament
Giffords, an anti-Second Amendment organization created by former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, is launching a new group of gun owners to challenge pro-gun groups across the nation.
Building off a coalition that was set up in 2018, Gun Owners for Safety was recently unveiled and has chapters present in Colorado, Minnesota and Texas. It will serve as a counterbalance against pro-gun organizations and will push for gun control measures nationwide.
“I think whether you’re talking about politics, whether you’re talking about lobbying, whether you’re talking about culture change, what’s vitally important is that we focus on the millions of Americans at the center of our politics. If we’re going to have long-term durable change in this country, it can’t just be the activists on the left and the activists on the right. We really have to move the center,” Giffords Executive Director Peter Ambler declared.
Giffords is the wife of Arizona Senate candidate Mark Kelly. She is also a gun owner and according to Ambler, Giffords was one of the most moderate members during her time serving in the U.S. House.
Ambler claims that the group’s organizers have already reached out to approximately 50,000 gun owners all across the nation “who are fed up with the NRA,” Ambler stated. According to a report by The Hill, the group’s members “include hunters, collectors, veterans, former law enforcement and others who value firearm ownership but also want to reduce gun violence.”
“These men and women were eager, at a time when our values of our country are being debated, to raise their hand and show politicians, show the country, that the vast majority of gun owners support safer gun laws,” Ambler remarked. The Executive Director of Giffords said that universal background checks are a central policy item for the group.
The NRA has become a punching bag of sorts for many gun control groups. Despite some of its questionable dedication to certain gun rights causes, the kind of persecution the NRA is facing from the state of New York for allegedly mismanaging funds and being involved in other forms of corruption.
“Put your foot in the shoes of an American gun owner, do you want to be part of the NRA, which is embroiled in legal and ethical controversy?” Ambler inquired. “The NRA wants you to believe that you can’t have your Second Amendment and pursue laws like … universal background checks.”
“American voters are hungry for campaigns and messages and groups of people who are attempting to bring people together to accomplish something that serves all Americans. That’s why Gabby is working so hard to organize fellow gun owners across the country,” Ambler commented.
The pro-gun control movement is not playing around. They will use every strategy in the book to try to destroy the Second Amendment. Gun owners should prepare themselves for the most unorthodox of attacks that come from this desperate anti-freedom lobby.
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