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Democrats urge U.P. Republican to apologize for bringing gun to State of the State

State Representative Beau LaFave open carries during the 2020 State of the State address in...
State Representative Beau LaFave open carries during the 2020 State of the State address in Lansing on Wednesday, January 29. (Facebook Image from Beau LaFave) (WJRT)
Published: Feb. 4, 2020 at 1:20 PM EST
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(2/4/2020) - A group of Upper Peninsula Democrats is urging Republican State Rep. Beau LaFave to apologize for openly carrying a rifle to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's State of the State address last week.

LaFave of Iron Mountain had an AR-style rifle strapped to him in the State Capitol during Whitmer's address to a joint session of the Legislature.

"As far as I'm concerned, the governor wants my rifle and the Democrats want my seat. Come and take it," LaFave said.

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His response comes after Whitmer joined other politicians in calling for stricter gun control laws.

"There are millions of law-abiding citizens that open carry and her ridiculous gun laws, that are unconstitutional, are not going to happen,” LaFave said.

Jason Chapman, who is co-chairman of the 906 Dems group, disagreed with LaFave’s decision to bring his firearm to the speech. While the 906 Dems support the Second Amendment, they believe that it was in poor taste and done in the spirit of self-promotion instead of protest.

"We all know he supports the Second Amendment, as do the rest of us," Chapman said. "We understand the magnitude of that evening. The disrespect towards the governor and to his district is just something we couldn't stand for."

The 906 Dems sent a press release calling for LaFave to make an apology.

"It was just a way for him to get a news headline rather than to truly express his opinion in a respectful manner. And for that, we do believe he needs to apologize,” Chapman said.

However, LaFave has no plans to apologize.

"I want my constituents to have firearms, because it makes us much safer. So no, I will not be apologizing for exercising my Second Amendment and Article 1 Section 6 constitutional right,” LaFave said.