News

Gun Owners Openly Carry During GR City Commission Meeting To Show Disdain Over Ordinance

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Feb. 25, 2014) – The sight of a gun, whether it’s being carried legally or not has ignited a firestorm of debate inside the Grand Rapids City Chambers.  The isn’t the first time the issue has been in the cross-hairs at a commission meeting.

This is an issue raised by one gun owner a year and a half ago, when Tom Lambert came to a commission meeting after noticing what he said was a city ordinance in Grand Rapids that doesn’t fall in line with state law.

The ordinance prohibits people from carrying guns in public meetings unless they have been issued a license by and there is no bullet in the chamber.  Some say the ordinance is unnecessary because state law already state states that a person must have a license to purchase, carry or possess a pistol, others argue the ordinance doesn’t go far enough.

Before the commission meeting on Tuesday, Mayor George Heartwell voiced a concern, “I note the presence of a number of armed civilians in the audience tonight.  That may make you uncomfortable.  I know it makes me uncomfortable.”

A position Mayor Heartwell has stood by since the issue was first raised by a man from Kentwood nearly a year and a half ago.  Tom Lambert said he and others have the right to carry their firearms at the meeting and elsewhere in the city.

“You have on multiple occasions advocated for confusion,” Lambert said as he addressed Mayor Heartwell.

Lambert urged other gun owners to proudly display their opinions for the commission and the public to see.

The mayor has made his position clear.  He sees a gun in commission chambers as a threatening gesture and has no plans of changing the ordinance.  Others in the community stood by the mayor’s side.

Even former Grand Rapids Mayor John H. Logie felt compelled to weigh in.

“I recommend that we buy a gently used airport scanner and put it right there at the door,” he said.

Lambert said this issue and the sight of his gun can go away in simple order, “The easiest way to make it right is to get rid of the ordinance.”

In the end both the commissioners and the mayor made it clear, they have no plans to make any changes to the city laws regarding firearms at this time.

They had an extra police officer on hand at the meeting for security reasons.

VIEW & ADD COMMENTS

28 Comments to “Gun Owners Openly Carry During GR City Commission Meeting To Show Disdain Over Ordinance”

    Danny Griffin said:
    February 26, 2014 at 12:10 AM

    > In the end both the commissioners and the mayor made it clear, they are in favor of the city ordinance and have no plans to make any changes to the city laws regarding firearms at this time.

    Dave Spencer, did you, as an objective journalist covering the meeting, point out that Mayor Heartwell's and the commissioners' position was unlawful? Are you and Fox17 okay with that?

      Lwout65 said:
      February 27, 2014 at 12:01 AM

      Liberal Media i am sure they are fine with it.

    TheFoundingFathers said:
    February 26, 2014 at 1:53 AM

    Hartwell= Corrupt worthless POS.

    Spank said:
    February 26, 2014 at 3:05 AM

    Why would the mayor have a problem with legal gun owners exercising their constitutional civil rights ?
    Because he doesn't respect the constitution, a common trait among liberals

    Remember this at election time…vote for freedom

    Glock said:
    February 26, 2014 at 3:10 AM

    Next meeting we the people should ALL attend and with our legal, constitutionally protected side arms.
    Freedom is like muscle, you don't use them you lose them.

      Lwout65 said:
      February 27, 2014 at 12:00 AM

      Bring your Glocks and ARs … and no i am not joking.

    Let Freedom Ring said:
    February 26, 2014 at 3:15 AM

    Its odd that with the crime rate soaring in GR the mayor doesn't address the REAL problem but rather he takes aim at law abiding citizens.
    In GR political correctness trumps not only public safety but the very constitution itself.
    Elections really do have consequences beyond free obama-phones and "free healthcare"…eh

      tracyd112 said:
      February 28, 2014 at 11:34 AM

      So give guns to a bunch of scarred idiots who will pull the trigger if someone looks wrong at them.

    Michigan mother of 4 said:
    February 26, 2014 at 4:00 AM

    Grand Rapids LA, Chicago, NYC all have intrusive gun laws that only apply to legal, law abiding citizens
    And Grand rapids like the aforementioned, has the crime rate to prove it.

    The mayors anti-gun agenda doesn't include much diversity, he's only wants to take guns from lawful gun owners, the thugs can keep theirs. PC all the way

    CommonSense said:
    February 26, 2014 at 5:55 AM

    A mayor and most of a city commission living in their sterile, political correct little worlds.
    Kissing each others butts and those butts from which they want to gain from.

    Make a difference at the next mayoral election and other city elections to remove these idiots from office!
    And, no, I don't carry!

    SirBuck said:
    February 26, 2014 at 7:17 AM

    "Despite Ordinance…." Really? Anyone that reads this and does NOT know that any local law or ordinance that restricts a gun owners rights is in direct violation of the State of Michigan Constitution must be as uneducated or as arrogant as the Mayor. More than anything, the citizens of GR should be outraged that the Mayor is thumbing his nose at the state and picking and choosing what parts of the Michigan Constitution he is going to support. He is either all-in with the Constitution or he is going rogue and wants to be a King instead of a Mayor. King Heartwell. I’ll bet he likes the ring of that.

    GUEST said:
    February 26, 2014 at 7:34 AM

    FIRE YOUR GOVERMENT…RE-ELECT NOBODY

    Andra said:
    February 26, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    I for one am glad the mayor and commissioners stood their ground. It might not have been a issue if so called law abiding citizen could be trusted to carry guns but they are not . It only takes one person who is carting to lose it then what.

      Common Sense said:
      February 26, 2014 at 2:37 PM

      So your policy is trust no one but the government? Seems logical….trust the government who time after time has proved their trust means nothing instead of trusting a law abiding citizen who had to prove their trust in order to carry the gun in the first place… O wait.

      It only takes one nut job with a gun (makes no difference if the gun is legal or not) to kill a room full of people, but it only takes one law abiding citizen in possession of a gun to take that nut case out.

      And don't say "o there's a police officer there" cause their not there 100% of the time, and once again, you can easily find 100 reasons or instances where an officer had broke his trust, Good-luck finding 100 instances where a law abiding citizen has done that.

      Wil said:
      February 26, 2014 at 10:28 PM

      Ok, andra your mind set your going to carry a GRPD officer on your back to protect you?

      NO, you say…. Get my point yet?

      Lwout65 said:
      February 26, 2014 at 11:57 PM

      You have no idea how many people legally carrying firearms you walk past every day do you lol.

    Don McQueen said:
    February 26, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    Well they did not arrest anyone for breaking the ordnance so as soon as they do arrest someone they will loose any law suite for illegal arrest because they know there breaking Michigan State law

    Justin said:
    February 26, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    0:40 – what kind of amateur editing is that? they cut right in the middle of the word 'tuesday' hahaha

    tracyd112 said:
    February 26, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    I just want to know why these guys feel they need to carry a gun in to a public meeting? And i bet you 9 out of 10 armed people there last night have never been there before they only went to show off.Now what makes me mad just because I got into trouble 26 years ago why am I not allowed to protect myself from these gun carrying NUTS? What makes them any better then me? We have congress and senators and other public officials who have records? if you have seen the news lately it is not the thugs on the streets using these guns to kill people it is the ordinary person killing others why because 1 was on a cell phone in a movie?Oh and lets not forget the shooter was a retired police officer.! If these people can carry guns then I want my rights also to protect my self from these big headed idiots who will pull and shoot just because they can.By showing up to a public meeting with guns on there sides just like the western days back in them days people were given a holster and gun once released from jail or prison .So maybe I will file a law suit against each and every one of them for making it that I can not attend any meetings because I am feared for my life that one of these gun toting idiots will shoot up a meeting because they get mad..

      CommonSense said:
      February 26, 2014 at 7:39 PM

      Wow, do you not realize that it is our constitutional right to bear arms? Fartwell can only go so far as can his little hangers on. Don't blame guns, blame the idiots who get them most often illegally.

      Josh said:
      February 27, 2014 at 8:53 AM

      Its not our fault that you are such an insecure adult-child. Are you scared of cars? People who are scared of guns because they are guns have a mental issue. Being scared of ANY inanimate object is a mental issue…an inanimate object can not of its own will hurt anyone, it takes an outside action to make it work.

      RJI said:
      February 28, 2014 at 11:15 AM

      I don't really feel the "need" to carry my firearm into the meeting. I do feel the need to provide security and responsible safety for myself and my family. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that police officers do not have the duty to protect nor to prevent crime; it is their responsibility to investigate and arrest criminals. So, I carry a firearm as one of the means of self protection. I also have learned to be on "yellow alert" at all times and have good situational awareness. Since I do carry a firearm with me, when I get to a place like the city commission meeting where I may not have a need for it, I can do one of two things; keep it with me or leave it in my car. Unprotected. Unguarded. Available for any one of the thousands of criminals in Grand Rapids to steal and then use to commit a more heinous crime. So I keep it with me.

      As to the "showing off" comment – you are way off base, ma'am. Those who went there did so to speak to their elected officials about an issue that is important to them. They are our employees and we get to address them.

      I believe that there is a process by which you can demonstrate your current standing, etc. and get approval to own the firearm and carry it. You should ask a LEO or firearms attorney for advice before making assumptions. That said, you really sound angry and looking for revenge, though, so I sincerely doubt that any reasonable judge would grant you a pardon and allow you to own or carry a deadly weapon. You have in the past demonstrated some type of poor judgement, and your statements above show that you are no better today than you were then.

      Bolzenmuffin said:
      March 1, 2014 at 9:51 PM

      I'm not a strong or tough man, but I certainly don't fear any of these guys. Guns are nothing to be afraid of. They're all around you believe it or not. I'd venture to guess that one out of twelve adult Michiganders carry concealed everyday. That means, you're surrounded by good folk who just happen to be armed. I'd rather "know" they're carrying by seeing the weapon rather than guessing who has them… thus the term, "open carry." Women comprise the fastest growing group of concealed carriers. Generally, when they discover the joy of shooting at the indoor range, it opens a whole new world for them. Also, these guys are not "showing off," and they're certainly not attention seekers. They just want the harassment to stop, the uneducated to be educated, and the government to acknowledge the laws that are already in the books. The mayor and some of his officers are violating their oath of office.

    Mister Nobody said:
    February 26, 2014 at 10:21 PM

    Just because you can legally do something doesn't mean that you should. I don't know a damn thing about our mayor or local politics (they don't really apply to me anyway, since I'm not Dutch), but guns have a single purpose and I don't understand what reasoning anyone would have for bringing one to that type of an event. Actually, I can think of a reason…intimidation.

      Guest said:
      February 28, 2014 at 9:22 AM

      Funny, if guns have only one purpose, then explain how 99.72% of the time a gun is used, it is not used to kill….hmmmm…that proves it is not the gun that makes the decision, its the person holding the gun making the decision!

      But such a staggering intellectual concept is apparently beyond the grasp of negative IQ progressives!

      Then again, there are only 2 logical reasons for a person to be afraid of the law abiding gun owner 1) your insane 2) your a criminal/pedophile afraid of being shot by your intended victim, you choose which!

      RJI said:
      February 28, 2014 at 11:19 AM

      I don't really feel the "need" to carry my firearm into the meeting. I do feel the need to provide security and responsible safety for myself and my family. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that police officers do not have the duty to protect nor to prevent crime; it is their responsibility to investigate and arrest criminals. So, I carry a firearm as one of the means of self protection. I also have learned to be on "yellow alert" at all times and have good situational awareness. Since I do carry a firearm with me, when I get to a place like the city commission meeting where I may not have a need for it, I can do one of two things; keep it with me or leave it in my car. Unprotected. Unguarded. Available for any one of the thousands of criminals in Grand Rapids to steal and then use to commit a more heinous crime. So I keep it with me. Nothing to do with intimidation. The mayor starting a meeting by segregating members of the public as he does is intimidation. 60 years ago it would have been to point out the people of color in the audience, 10 years ago it would have been to point out the people living alternative lifestyles, today he is segregating those of us who choose to have the protection of our lives as our own responsibility.

    Lwout65 said:
    February 26, 2014 at 11:51 PM

    The States Constitution allows for open carry with or without a CPL {how ever with you can openly carry in most PFZs} Grand Rapids or any other City or township can not make their own laws about this …I am patiently waiting for the GR police to cross the line and see them lose big in court being it can only end one way.

    Lansing tried the same garbage and lost every time.

    Bolzenmuffin said:
    March 1, 2014 at 9:38 PM

    The State of Michigan Constitution clearly states, "Every person has a right to bear arms for the defense of himself and the state." The laws are further written to explicitly forbid city governments from regulating firearms… that responsibility rests solely with the State. You can hate guns all you want, but the law is the law, and I expect law enforcement and the mayor to uphold the law. Mayor, to violate your oath of office in an attempt violate the rights granted to the people at the State level smells terribly like corruption, and I hope the good people of Grand Rapids vote you out.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Advertisement

Advertisement