Michigan House Minority Leader Matt Hall opposes legislation that would prevent abusers from owning guns. During his time as a college student, he reportedly threatened to shoot another student with a shotgun.
MICHIGAN—A new ad campaign is shining a light on violent threats reportedly made by state Rep. Matt Hall (R-Richland Twp.) during his time as a student at Western Michigan University.
The Michigan Democratic Party this week launched a series of advertisements on Facebook targeting Hall for allegedly threatening another student with gun violence, including sending a message that said: “I’ve got a shotgun rifle and I just put a bullet in it with your name on it!”
“Matt Hall admitted to making violent, racist threats,” according to one of the video ads, which goes on to display a series of threatening messages from 2001 that Hall had reportedly sent to another student at a college in Maryland, where his girlfriend was studying at the time.
Among the emails that Hall reportedly admitted to sending to another student:
“YOU BETTER NOT GO TO THE CHRISTMAS PARTY TOMORROW NIGHT! JUST A WORD OF ADVICE!! THE SOUTH WILL RISE AGAIN AND WE DON’T LIKE YOUR KIND TREATING LADIES LIKE [redacted] WITHOUT DIGNITY. SHE IS A FINE LADY YOU DON’T NEED TO BE SAYING SHIT ABOUT HER! WE ARE GOING TO IMPOSE OUR SOUTHERN WAYS ON YOU! I’VE GOT A SHOTGUN RIFLE AND I JUST PUT A BULLET IN IT WITH YOUR NAME ON IT!”
“YOU HAD BETTER WATCH OUT!! WE DON’T LIKE YOUR KIND HERE IN WC! YOU WON’T FEEL VERY CROMBIE WHEN WE ARE DONE WITH YOU! BY YOU BLOCKING US ON IM WE ARE JUST MORE ANGRY!!! CLOSING TIME IS COMING SOON! BETTER SAY YOUR PRAYERS!!! STAY AWAY FROM [redacted]”
After the threats were reported to law enforcement, Hall reportedly apologized, and told police officers that he didn’t actually own a shotgun and didn’t have any real plans to harm anyone. It’s unclear how the incident was handled by Western Michigan University’s Office of Student Judicial Affairs, but Hall went on to graduate from the university and its affiliated law school.
Hall later told MLive that he learned a lesson and now regrets sending those messages—but Michigan Democrats think Hall’s abusive past still poses real questions over whether he can fairly evaluate legislation designed to reduce domestic violence and prevent shootings.
After passing a series of popular gun safety reforms earlier this year, Michigan lawmakers are currently working on additional legislation that would prevent those convicted of domestic violence from owning or possessing a firearm for eight years after they complete their sentence.
“We know that domestic violence is something that escalates, and having a gun in the situation really does increase the likelihood that someone may die,” Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) told The ‘Gander in August. “There’s so much more we can do to help save lives.”
Hall has been one of the most vocal opponents of those recent gun safety reforms. In a press release that has since been deleted from his website, Hall reportedly said that he will “always stand against these radical proposals to interfere with your right to bear arms.”
“It’s concerning to learn that a legislative leader who opposed some of those [gun violence prevention] initiatives has made violent threats in the past,” Ryan Bates, executive director of End Gun Violence Michigan told the American Independent. “Now is the time when all our leaders in Lansing need to unite around protecting our communities from gun violence.”
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