Guns rights groups aim to block Whitmer’s appointment to Natural Resources Commission

Guns rights groups aim to block Whitmer's appointment to Natural Resources Commission

The Capitol building in downtown Lansing LANSING — Guns rights groups are mobilizing supporters to block Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s appointee to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission. Whitmer named former Grand Rapids Mayor George K. Heartwell, a Democrat from Newaygo, to the commission on Feb. 7. Heartwell has long been an outspoken advocate for gun control. The Grand Rapids Press reported he criticized Congress in 2014 for its inaction on regulating weapons and his belief that "guns make us less safe." Heartwell also is active in environmental groups. He serves on the Environmental Law and Policy Center Advisory Board and the Great Lakes Water Quality board. He recently stepped down from his post on the State Transportation Committee, Michigan Department of Transportation spokesperson Jeff Cranson confirmed. Guns rights activists rally outside the Michigan Capitol in 2018. As a "lifelong angler and conservationist," Heartwell is a good fit for the commission, Whitmer spokesperson Tiffany Brown said in a statement. "During his time as the Mayor of Grand Rapids, Heartwell earned a strong reputation as a bipartisan problem-solver who was dedicated to building safe neighborhoods and a vibrant community where businesses could grow and thrive," she said. The Natural Resources Commission regulates hunting and fishing in Michigan. It can set rules for firearms in the context of hunting, like what magazine sizes and gun calibers are allowed. "It’s not a broad authority, but just has to do with hunting," Department of Natural Resources spokesperson Ed Golder said. Groups like the National Rifle […]

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