State Rep. John Reilly on Tuesday testified before the House Committee on Military, Veterans and Homeland Security in support of his plan to protect civil liberties by ensuring that state law prohibiting terrorist threats does not restrict constitutionally protected speech.
“The freedom of expression is a core civil liberty protected by both the national and Michigan constitutions,” said Reilly, of Oakland Township. “Michigan citizens should not face retaliation for engaging in free speech, and locking someone up for a joke is a clear violation of that constitutional right. Our laws must be tailored to respond to real threats of violence or terrorism without infringing on freedom.”
Reilly introduced his House Bill 5245 to clarify Michigan’s anti-threat law after a young Oakland County resident was arrested for a joke made in 2019. Lucas Gerhard, a Lake Superior State University student, posted a picture of his rifle on Snapchat, with a caption stating, “Takin this bad boy up, this outta make the snowflakes melt, aye? And I mean snowflakes as in snow” followed by a winking emoji. He legally owned the firearm, and LSSU specifically allows students to bring rifles to campus. Gerhard was arrested and accused of making a terrorist threat. He remains under house arrest awaiting trial.
“My heart goes out to students, staff and their families after the despicable shooting at Oxford High School. I am praying for a quick recovery for those who have been wounded, and comfort for families and friends grieving lost loved ones. A tragedy like this shocks us all, and we need to support the people who endured this horrific trauma. Our community is unified in the face of this heinous act of violence, and we are especially grateful to our law enforcement officers and first responders for their efforts.”
Roll Call Bill Date Exp. 1 Election of Speaker 13-Jan I proudly voted yes to elect Jason Wentworth as Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives. Speaker Wentworth is an exceptional leader who will do what is right for our State. I look forward to working with him over these next two years. Speaker Wentworth […]
After an audit found the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) mishandled one of its duties related to administration of a federal program, state Rep. John Reilly, a member of the House Committee on Oversight, today called for the governor and agency leaders to run the UIA more efficiently.