BELLEVUE, WA â€“ Detroit Police Chief Jerry Oliver should have known better when he packed a loaded handgun in his luggage for a flight to Philadelphia Oct. 18. He should face prosecution, same as any other citizen who did the same thing, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) said today.
Oliver reportedly is stonewalling the investigation. His attorney, Anthony Chambers, was quoted by the Detroit Free Press insisting that â€œThereâ€™s no criminal activity on the chiefâ€™s part.â€
â€œIs he kidding?â€ said CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron. â€œThis case involves multiple criminal violations, and Chambers, Chief Oliver and Wayne County Prosecutor Michael Duggan all know it. For openers, Chief Oliver is not a certified police officer in Michigan, making him nothing more than a private citizen. The pistol was loaded, it reportedly isnâ€™t registered, and Oliver evidently isnâ€™t even licensed to carry a concealed handgun, yet he reportedly admitted carrying this gun every day on the job. Any other private citizen would be begging for a plea bargain at this point.
â€œFurthermore,â€ Waldron noted, â€œOliverâ€™s gun is identified as a .25-caliber pistol. Carrying that on the job is a direct violation of his own departmentâ€™s long-standing regulations, which he enforces as the chief, because it does not meet the minimum requirement of being at least .38-caliber. Oliver keeps insisting itâ€™s a .22-caliber pistol, suggesting he doesnâ€™t even know the caliber of gun heâ€™s carrying.
â€œPerhaps worst of all,â€ Waldron continued, â€œOliver was enroute to attend the annual meeting of the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Philadelphia. The IACP has a well-known track record of supporting every kind of gun control measure, while not supporting the right of every law abiding citizen to bear arms for personal protection. How dare the chief so flagrantly violate state and federal regulations, while leaving town to attend the convention of such an anti-gun-rights organization. Oliver should be placed on leave until this case is settled.â€
Waldron called on Duggan to be as aggressive with this case as he would any similar case, and file charges against Chief Oliver, sending a message to the community that â€œnobody is above the law.â€
â€œMike Duggan vehemently opposed concealed carry reform in Michigan, claiming it would lead to more gun crime,â€ Waldron said. â€œNow Duggan has a ready-made case involving blatant multiple gun law violations. Whatâ€™s he waiting for? If Mike Duggan doesnâ€™t prosecute Jerry Oliver, as he undoubtedly would prosecute an average citizen, then he is nothing more than an elitist hypocrite. Maybe this case should be turned over to a special prosecutor. If weâ€™re going to stop people from trying to sneak loaded guns onto commercial aircraft, we ought to start with police chiefs who have made careers out of jailing people after telling them that ignorance of the law is no excuse.â€