Big League Politics broke the story two weeks ago regarding 20-year-old Michigan resident Lucas Gerhard, a former Lake Superior State University (LSSU) student who was arrested, charged with terrorism, and then thrown in jail for months for posting a picture of a legally-obtained firearm on social media.
The shocking story has since gone viral, been picked up by other sources, and a Republican state lawmaker is preparing legislation that will protect the free speech of conservative students and stop prosecutorial abuses like what has occurred with the Gerhard case.
Republican Rep. John Reilly of Lake Orion is introducing legislation in the Michigan state legislature that would create a requirement for a particular target in the current terror threats statute as well as a “reasonable person” test so more conservatives are not targeted in a similar manner to Gerhard by the vague and open-ended laws.
“A bright young man has had his life ruined, all because of one overzealous prosecutor who was unfamiliar with First Amendment law,” Rep. Reilly said in a press release.
“Lucas Gerhard’s aspirations to a career in criminal justice have been irreparably harmed, and we don’t know how many other people’s lives have been destroyed in the same way,” he added.
Reilly is urging people from Michigan to contact his office via phone at (517) 373-1798 and email at [email protected] if they have had their 1st Amendment rights trampled upon in similar fashion to Gerhard. Reilly will hold a press conference on Tuesday at 4pm at the Governor’s Room at Karoub Associates, 121 W. Allegan St., Lansing, MI to officially announce his legislation.
Gerhard is currently looking at years in prison but is refusing to take a plea deal despite the odds facing him. He and his father Mark believe that this case will set a precedent that could resonate throughout the country, as the digital crackdown against free speech intensifies and more conservatives are targeted as a result.
“Lucas is adamant that he didn’t do this. He is not in any way or fashion looking to take a plea. He is going to fight this all the way through, which I think is a good thing,” Mark Gerhard said.
“There are a lot of kids getting prosecuted under these kind of charges. If Lucas takes a plea, everyone following him is diminished. There are not going to be many opportunities for them to fight back against this after it becomes a precedent,” he added.
The Gerhard family is raising money to cover the legal fees for the case as the state doggedly tries to make an example of Lucas. Big League Politics will cover tomorrow’s press conference and any developments surrounding the case as it continues to unfold.
Trump Administration Withdraws Nominee for ATF Director After Evasive Gun Control Answers in Senate
Chuck Canterbury avoided answering questions on gun control.
The Trump administration is withdrawing its nomination for Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, after Chuck Canterbury alienated several Republican Senators during his July confirmation hearing for refusing to give an answer to questions regarding his personal opinion on gun laws.
Canterbury avoided answering several questions from GOP senators during his testimony, claiming he didn’t want to express any opinions that contrasted with the stated policy views of the Fraternal Order of Police. Canterbury is the former President of that organization.
Senators such as Louisiana’s John Kennedy questioned Canterbury’s evasive testimony in July.
“I like straight answers, and you are being evasive,” said Kennedy. “You have been nominated to run ATF. I think every member of this panel, both my Democratic friends and Republican friends who have feelings about the Second Amendment, are entitled to know both morally and legally what you believe.”
Canterbury had been asked numerous times about his policy views on matters such as banning so-called “assault weapons.”
The ATF has tremendous power over the American gun industry and Second Amendment community, and in some cases have banned previously legal forms of weapons with impunity. Some firearms enthusiasts have become increasingly skeptical of the agency in recent years, and conservatives have sought additional oversight. High-level ATF leadership have spoken of what they believe to be a conspiracy against their agency, further alienating gun rights supporters.
The Trump administration formally informed the Senate that it was withdrawing Canterbury’s nomination on Tuesday. His ambiguous views towards common gun control proposals had ensured his nomination was stalled, and now pulled.
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