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Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Employee Deserves Praise, Not Firing For Giving 'Found Gun' To Police

Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

Wayne County, MI employee John Chevilott should be honored, not fired for turning over a loaded gun to the police that he found while on the job, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

"This man was fired by the Wayne County Department of Public Services for doing the right thing," said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. "We are stunned that this situation has continued for two weeks. Wayne County officials need to correct this nonsense."

Chevilott found the gun while he was mowing the grass in the Brightmoor neighborhood, according to published reports. He picked up the gun, which had been damaged by a lawnmower and held it hoping to turn it over to the police, after he called to report the discovery. When police didn't respond, he kept the gun and drove it to a police station after his shift. The gun turned out to have been stolen in 2005.

"The police reportedly commended Chevilott," Gottlieb noted, "but his bosses fired him for 'violating policy.' Since when is it policy in Wayne County, or anywhere else, to simply leave a loaded gun lying around where it might be picked up by a child? Are morons in charge in Wayne County?"

In addition to firing Chevilott, the county also suspended his supervisor for 30 days. The local labor union has filed a grievance on Chevilott's behalf.

"The policy Chevilott violated forbids employees from having weapons while on the job," Gottlieb observed, "but that's aimed at the carrying of personal weapons, not picking up loose guns found on the job and turning them over to police. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the difference, and for Mr. Chevilott's bosses to take such an inflexible position suggests it is bullheaded stubbornness, and nothing else, that is guiding their decision.

"Mr. Chevilott should be immediately reinstated with full back pay," Gottlieb said. "He clearly exercised responsibility by taking that gun off the street. What he did demonstrates far more civic leadership than his bosses at Wayne County."