BELLEVUE, WA—The decision Monday by Wayne County, Mich. Prosecutor Michael Duggan to charge former Detroit Police Chief Jerry Oliver for having an unregistered handgun was “the right thing to do,” said Joe Waldron, executive director of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA).

“It doesn’t matter who you are,” Duggan was quoted as saying Monday by the Detroit Free Press. “If you do not license your handgun … I am going to charge you.”

“I’m satisfied that Mike Duggan is sticking to his ‘anti-guns’,” Waldron quipped.

Earlier, Waldron had challenged Duggan to charge the now ex-chief. Had Duggan not charged Oliver—as he would have any other citizen caught in the same set of circumstances—it would have been a blatant exercise in elitist hypocrisy, Waldron suggested.

“Jerry Oliver deserves a day in court, same as any other citizen who has been accused of a crime,” Waldron stated. “Likewise, the law-abiding gun owners in Wayne County also deserve for Oliver to have a day in court, as it demonstrates that nobody, even the chief law enforcement officer of the state’s largest city, is above the law.

“Every law-abiding gun owner in Michigan is aware of the registration requirement,” Waldron continued, “so it is incredulous for Jerry Oliver to say that he wasn’t. While there is no evidence that any registration law ever prevented a violent crime, it is still the law in Michigan, unless and until the Legislature wisely repeals it. Until that happens, the law applies to everyone, even police chiefs.

“Jerry Oliver learned the hard way why police should never be exempt from any law they are required to enforce, and that especially should apply to gun laws,” Waldron observed. “Too often over the years, such laws were deliberately written with exemptions for police, in order to garner their political support. For too long, the public looked upon police as ‘gun experts’ and therefore were often mistakenly influenced by a police endorsement or opposition to a particular gun law proposal.

“Chief Oliver’s incident, and it is really nothing more than that,” Waldron concluded, “shows that police, and especially police administrators, are not always gun experts. Carrying an unlicensed handgun is bad enough, but packing a loaded gun in your luggage, not declaring it at an airport check-in, and not even being able to identify its correct caliber are stunning lapses. Real experts don’t do this, and all other average citizens face the same consequences that Jerry Oliver now faces.”