Convention Authority Uses Bogus Gun Policy to Harass Michigan Gun Owners

Read the CAA’s Response to Our FOIA Request and MOC/MGO Joint Statement

No Guns
Convention Authority Uses Bogus Gun Policy to Harass Michigan Gun Owners
Michigan Open Carry
Michigan Open Carry

Lansing, MI -( On March 11, 2016, one month ago today, an undocumented and unlawful weapons policy was illegally enforced under threat of trespass against members of Michigan Gun Owners (MGO), and Michigan Open Carry, Inc. (MOC) at the publicly owned DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids.

Since that day, members of, and attorneys for, both organizations have attempted to ascertain the exact nature of the policy and under what legal authority it was created, if any. After weeks of calls, a public meeting, and even a Freedom Of Information Act request, no documentation of any duly-authorized policy has been produced.

The Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority (CAA), the public authority that owns and operates DeVos Place, still to this day seemingly refuses to answer any questions about the enforced policy. When asked at the end of a public meeting what their policy is and how it is authorized, the CAA Chairman Steven Heacock responded that it was not appropriate to discuss the matter at that time. One would think a meeting open to the public would be a wonderful time for a public body to discuss a public policy of theirs, but it appears the CAA does not share that opinion.

This willful lack of transparency should be of great concern to all Grand Rapids and Kent County residents, whom the CAA is tasked with serving.

While the CAA’s response to our FOIA request conspicuously avoided any details about their policy, it nonetheless still contained interesting information.

Here is what we have found out:

  • The policy is being enforced without a clear legal basis, which has lead to its arbitrary enforcement resulting in firearms being allowed into the sportsman’s show the following weekend.
  • CAA member Charles Secchia seems to support whatever policy they have out of his own personal fear of law abiding citizens.
  • The CAA appears poised to utilize public funds to attack firearm rights whatever way it can.

Based on the events since March 11th 2016, it is becoming increasingly clear that at least certain members of the CAA are not interested in upholding the law as it stands or serving the public interest as their offices require. Instead it seems they are more focused on expending public resources in an attempt to cover up and avoid answering for their illegal and hoplophobic agenda.

This is yet another tremendous example of why public officials need to be held accountable when they knowingly and willingly fail to do their duty. These unlawful actions create a clear harm to law-abiding citizens and their rights. The Michigan Legislature must act to curtail this lawlessness and pass HB 4795 now!

The complete response to our FOIA request can be viewed here:

Tom Lambert
Michigan Open Carry, Inc.
[email protected]

About Michigan Open Carry, Inc:

Michigan Open Carry, Inc is a Not-For-Profit organization that depends on our dues paying members to continue our operation. We are an all-volunteer organization. As such, no one is paid a salary and very few of the personal expenses of our officers are reimbursed. Won’t you consider joining us or renewing as a dues paying member today? If you need technical help with the process, please email [email protected].

1 Comment
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Sounds very close to a “civil rights violation under color of the law”. Time for federal lawyers?