Constantine residents fired up over possible assault weapons ban

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Two men got up at a council meeting in Constantine to say they won't stand for a ban on assault weapons.

Two men got up at a council meeting in Constantine to say they won’t stand for a ban on assault weapons.

CONSTANTINE, Mich.—Some gun owners in St. Joseph County are all fired up after learning that one council member has asked for a discussion on the subject of proliferation of assault weapons and a possible ban on them in their village. The topic is on the council agenda on January 18th, but people showed up Monday night at the council meeting to make their opinions known during public comment.

About a dozen people showed up to speak. A lot of them had more questions about why this is coming up in their small village, which has minimal assault weapon issues. Gun owners were angered that their 2nd amendment rights are being taken away.  However, the council was unable to answer any of their questions, or discuss their opinions. The president of the council – Patricia Weiss -who brought the topic up in mid-December is on vacation, leaving the rest of the council unsure about the details of her agenda.

Constantine, Michigan is a small village: only 1.77 square miles in size and home to about 2,000 people. However, it’s getting a lot of big talk after their council president brought up the controversial topic in mid-December hoping to make a bold statement to Michigan’s lawmakers.

“The village president, who isn’t here tonight because she is on vacation, and won’t be here until the next meeting; she asked that I distribute some literature to the council about the proliferation of assault weapons,” said Marc Honeysett, the city manager and police chief of Constantine.

Now many neighbors – as well as other council members – said they don’t know why a small village like Constantine is taking on such a large topic.

“She [the council president] asked that they read it and be prepared to discuss it including and up to imposing a ban on assault weapons in the village,” said Honeysett.

People are catching wind of the council president’s big idea, and made sure to voice their opinions in public comment at the council meeting Monday night.

Mass shootings have become a nearly daily occurrence for Americans in 2015: according to the Washington Post, there were nearly 300 incidents where four or more people were hurt or killed in gunfire.  Keith Ott, Constantine resident and a gun owner, reads these numbers as a reason to be armed.

“I think it’s very important that this is a sign of the times. It’s on the news; people need to be aware of their surroundings, protect themselves, educate themselves, and practice and shoot and shoot more often,” Ott said. “You never know when you will need to protect your family or yourself.”

One important aspect of the upcoming discussion will be on what exactly qualifies as an assault weapon; a question that isn’t easy to answer, according to Constantine police chief Honeysett.

“There actually is not [a] single answer and it depends where you go to find that answer. Some people think it’s an automatic weapon and that’s not the case,” Honeysett said.

This discussion is hot off the heels after President Obama announced that he plans to make an executive order that would require background checks for guns purchased from dealers online and at gun shows.

“I think this ban will be, well, I don’t think it will ever happen, but I am here to make sure people know it is an infringement on our constitutional right to defend your family and yourself,” Keith Ott said.

The discussion is expected to continue January 18th upon Weiss’ return from vacation. Meetings are open to those who live in and outside of the village who wish to voice their opinions.

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  • Benjamin Zomberg

    Doesn’t Michiga have fire arm preemption in its constitution stating a local government entity cannot have stricter laws than what is held at the state level? This ban will not come to fruition.

  • Larry

    I’m guessing these council members have never heard of Michigans firearms pre-emption law? They cannot enact any legislation or any ordinance or regulation pertaining to, or regulate in any other manner the ownership, registration, purchase, sale, transfer, transportation, or possession of pistols, other firearms, or pneumatic guns, ammunition for pistols or other firearms, or components of pistols or other firearms, except as otherwise provided by federal law or a law of this state.

  • Pips

    It was not according to the Washington Post, they were regurgitating garbage they pulled the data from the which is run by a bunch of anti-gun nuts and uses a very liberal definition of a “mass shooting”. The found even said that it was created as propaganda for the anti-gun movement. Don’t try to make it more reputable by attributing it to the Washington Post.

  • Steve Besser

    next meeting, while she is present, every citizen in attendance of the meeting who are concerned about her bat shit ideas, ought to come armed…not only with a gun but with a petition for her RECALL…..which is completely legal and within your rights to do by the way

    • Matthew Borst

      You can’t come armed with a gun to village offices.. but you can come with a recall petition ! Even though that paper meant nothing for the indians ! My Uncle would NEVER approve this. His name everyone knows . Pete , he’s rolling in his grave over this one ! Besides there are laws in michigan to prevent such acts by other citys , towns and Villages . What the hell does she think she lives in Chicago ? Maybe she better pack her clothes !

  • Andrew

    Mass shootings have become a nearly daily occurrence for Americans in 2015: according to the Washington Post, there were nearly 300 incidents where four or more people were hurt or killed in gunfire.

    Not all of them involved assault rifles. But every single one was committed by someone who was mentally ill.
    Yet you don’t see Constantine’s coucil suggesting that anything be done about the dangerously mentally ill people wandering around Constantine without any supervision or regulation whatsoever. Why not?

    We have Constitutional provisions insuring that the right to keep and bear arms is not infringed. And we have Constitutional provisions allowing for the suspension of rights to freely move about when one poses a danger to one’s self or to others. We don’t need to change any laws, we just need to intelligently enforce the ones we already have.

    Identifying and locking up the dangerously mentally ill is an obligation on the government of every village, city, county, state and federal government. Let them live up to that obligation first, and then see if we still need to consider giving up our rights after that.


    Bullshit on so many levels its almost impossible to respond.
    First, “mass shootings” do not happen every day. The truth is, the anti-gun liberals revised the definition of a mass shooting. Now, when gangster A shoots hoodrat B and hoodrat B returns fire and shoots gangster A it is now considered a “mass shooting” because there was more than one so called “victim”.
    You know, like Bill Clinton’s ” depends on what the definition of “is” is ”

    Second, the members of the Constantine counsel need to removed from their seats ASAP.
    Obviously they do not believe in, or understand the untied states constitution. They also do not support the Michigan constitution.
    How the hell did these ignorant un-american people even get elected ?

    Third, “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED”. That’s so simple even a left wing moonbat can understand it.

    And last, there is NO such thing as an “assault weapon”, another made up term by leftists.
    If you take the time to READ the definition of an “assault rifle” in military terms it is defined as a fully automatic weapon ( you know…machine gun)
    Yes it’s legal to own a real “assault weapon in Michigan, as well. But the scary black gun with the barrel shroud and bayonet lug that frightens liberals out of the their pajamas is NOT an “assault weapon”.

    Why don’t the good people of Constantine send these very poor representatives packing. Eject them from office. You can do it, its the law.
    Send them to Kaliforniastan. they’ll fit right in.

  • George

    Its always the same story. The anti-gun left always attempts to impose more laws on the lawful but does nothing to reduce crime. in fact they enable more crime.
    We lawful gun owners are not responsible for the shootings, the drive-by, the terrorists attacks, yet the left holds us accountable. the punish us for the act of others. And they do nothing to the real criminals.
    I would dare say its because they are afraid to hold criminals accountable. They are afraid to take on gang violence. they are afraid of being called “racist”.
    Have you noticed crime has soared, skyrocketed since Obama and his team have been in office?
    A short 7 years ago it was safe to go jazz on the mall, not any more. It was safe to walk down the street at night. not any more.
    And who does the anti-gun lobby blame? lawful Americans.
    Don’t allow the counsel to infringe on your rights.

  • Chris

    I love guns and hate abortions but I don’t vote republican. Feeling safe is a persue of happiness. I support drivers licenses for guns. You can always tell the people that did not take hunter safety.

  • michiganimages

    They can’t do it, MI has Firearms Preemption. Local municipalities can’t pass any laws adding additional regulations effecting the transport, carry, transfer or storage of firearms. It’s against state law.

  • Uncle Fink

    The Technical Definition of an “Assault Weapon” is a Fully Operational Machine gun. Production for Civilian Use ENDED in May of 1986. Anything else is a lie.
    The POLITICAL definition of an “Assault Weapon” is Anything The Politicians Can Get Away With.