Democratic lawmaker removes sign barring guns after letter from Speaker of the House
A state lawmaker says she felt “forced” by the Speaker of the House to remove a gun free zone sign from her state House office. Democratic State Representative Kara Hope (D-Holt) put up the sign last month. She says for the safety and comfort of her staff, she didn’t want any firearms in her office.
“Many of my colleagues have political signs and stickers and things on their doors, if you go over to the House Office Building you’ll see all kinds of things,” Hope said in an interview. “This has been singled out and I don’t think it’s fair.”
Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) sent Hope a letter where he “directed” her to remove a sign that asked people, aside from law enforcement, to not bring firearms into her Lansing office. Chatfield said the policy was unconstitutional.
“People have a right to petition their government, and that right to petition cannot be limited because they’re exercising another constitutional right,” Chatfield told reporters.
Hope disagrees, but said she took it down because as a freshman in the minority party, she doesn’t have a lot of power.
“He does have power,” she said. “He has the power to cut off my office allotment. He has the power to fire my staff. He has the power to do all those things that would make it hard for me to serve my constituents.”