New Michigan NRC chair says he’s not anti-gun, despite gun group opposition

New Michigan NRC chair says he’s not anti-gun, despite gun group opposition

Newly-appointed Natural Resources Commission Chair George Heartwell, right, leads a Natural Resources Commission meeting on Feb. 13, 2020. Gun advocates are urging the Senate to reject his appointment. As the former mayor of Grand Rapids, George Heartwell advocated for banning guns from public meetings after people showed up to a city meeting with guns. Now, gun advocates oppose his appointment to chair the Michigan Natural Resources Commission, which regulates hunting and fishing. “I think that people have taken my stand on guns in public meetings and conflated that to assume that I’m opposed to all guns, or that I’m opposed to hunting. I’m not,” Heartwell said. Heartwell, a Democratic appointee, was previously appointed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder to serve on the State Transportation Commission. But when Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer tapped him to chair the Natural Resources Commission, gun advocates rose up in opposition. A group called Great Lakes Gun Rights, which has tens of thousands of members across the state, urged people to contact their senators opposing Heartwell’s appointment. More than 1,000 of their members have done so, said Executive Director Brenden Boudreau. “We would rather not have such a vocal opponent of the Second Amendment on this commission,” Boudreau said. The NRA-Institute for Legislative Action urged people to ask their senators to oppose his appointment in an article , saying Heartwell will “do what he can to harass and hinder gun owners and sportsmen." It was in the wake of the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, […]

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