In a disappointing move, a federal judge last week ordered Republican Michigan gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley to surrender his firearms as he awaits misdemeanor charges linked to his alleged involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021 unrest at the U.S. Capitol, as the Detroit Free Press reports.
The move by Magistrate Judge Robin Meriweather came despite objections raised by the politician’s lawyer, who argued that his client requires the ability to carry a concealed weapon due to threats he may face during statewide campaign appearances.
Though Meriweather told attorney Gary Springsteen, “I do understand the concern,” about possible dangers facing the defendant as he traverses the state, according to the Daily Wire, she determined that countervailing factors such as “the safety of pre-trial services officials who will need to visit Kelley’s home” resulted in the order of surrender she ultimately issued.
Kelley’s difficulties began earlier this month when he was arrested by FBI agents at his Allendale, Michigan home on charges relating to his presence in Washington, D.C. on the fateful day of the Capitol breach, as the Detroit News noted at the time.
According to federal court records in the case, Kelley is accused of actively participating in the unruly demonstrations, scaling portions of the Capitol building structure, yelling and gesturing to fellow protesters, and removing a portion of a temporary structure situated outside the federal complex.
The gubernatorial hopeful was released on bond after a hearing in federal court in Grand Rapids on June 9, and just last week made his first appearance in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia via Zoom, with an in-person appearance in that venue slated for early July.
Thus far, Kelley has admitted attending the Jan. 6 demonstrations in Washington, D.C., but he has denied entering the Capitol building itself or having engaged in any type of criminal conduct.
A recent Detroit Free Press/EPIC MRA poll placed Kelley at the top of the GOP field of contenders hoping to unseat incumbent Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in November.
Even so, a significant portion of the Republican electorate in the Great Lakes State remains undecided, according to the survey, particularly after the upheaval that resulted from a recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling that booted several candidates from the primary ballot, including previous front-runner, former City of Detroit Police Chief James Craig.