Michigan State shooter had prior felony gun charge dropped by Democrat DA — would otherwise have been barred from having a firearm
Michigan Democrats are pushing for new gun control laws after three Michigan State University students were gunned down and several others were injured in a shooting Monday evening.
It is unclear whether additional laws will be any more effective than the existing gun laws that a Democratic district attorney failed to faithfully apply in full to the MSU shooter after his previous run-in with the law.
Former Ingham County District Attorney Carol Siemon not only pushed for Anthony McRae to avoid serious consequences and reacquire a weapon, but a general policy for other criminals as well.
More laws not to enforce
The Detroit Free Press reported that Anthony McRae — the man police indicated was responsible for slaying three innocent students and then killing himself — was arrested in 2019 on a gun-related charge in Lansing, Michigan.
Chris Gautz, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Corrections, told the Free Press about the arrest.
“On June 7, 2019, an officer spotted an individual near an abandoned building on East Street in Lansing around 1:30 a.m. The officer questioned McRae, who said he had just left a store,” said Gautz. “When asked, he admitted he had a gun on him and did not have a concealed weapons permit. He claimed he left home to walk to a store [to] buy cigarettes and feared for his safety so he took his gun.”
According to court records, a police officer approached McRae, asked him if he was armed, then, upon confirmation that he was, detained him. The officer found a Ruger LCP .380 semi-automatic pistol on McRae’s person along with a loaded magazine.
McRae was charged with a violation of concealed carry law and possessing a loaded weapon in a vehicle.
Despite the initial felony charge, the Ingham County District Attorney’s Office, formerly helmed by progressive Democrat Carol Siemon, cut McRae a deal and lowered the charges to a misdemeanor.
Ingham County Prosecutor John Dewane, Siemon’s successor, told the Free Press, “Mr. McRae would have been barred from legally purchasing, owning, or possessing a firearm if he would have been convicted of the [concealed weapons] charge.”
“The misdemeanor conviction did not prevent him from purchasing, owning, or possessing a firearm after he successfully completed his terms of probation,” added Dewane.
Dewane noted in a statement Tuesday that the original felony charge was punishable by up to five years.
McRae was ultimately sentenced to 12 months probation on Nov. 26, 2019, and then discharged from probation on May 14, 2021. He never served prison time for the offense.
Siemon, the Democrat who ran the DA’s office around the time McRae received his sweetheart deal, retired from her post on Dec. 31, after 17 years with the county.
According to the Lansing State Journal, Siemon long drew criticism for her charging and plea-bargain policies.
For instance, in 2020, Siemon was accused by a judge of trying “to be creative to get around the judge and the Legislature, and quite frankly, the law,” in “two cases that clearly are textbook first-degree, premeditated murder.”
Since Siemon opposes sentences of life without parole, she tried to let a murderer who smashed two women to death with a hammer in 2019 and planned to kill another two women plead guilty to second-degree murder.
Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth said upon learning of Siemon’s proposal, “Everybody that’s involved in this case, in these cases, thinks this plea offer is ridiculous.”
In August 2021, Wriggelsworth and a group of police chiefs called out Siemon for her decision to limit the occasions she would pursue felony firearm charges.
The Lansing State Journal reported that Siemon believed that refusing to hold criminals to account would aid in decreasing racial disparities in the criminal justice system.
Then-Stockbridge Police Chief John Torres said, “If she doesn’t want to prosecute the law, I think she should resign.”
Wriggelsworth called her soft-on-crime approach “misguided” and suggested it “puts us all in danger. … Our community should be outraged.”
The sheriff added that Siemon’s “policy is terrible for Ingham County, terrible for the community.”
Siemon’s policy proved terrible for students at Michigan State University this week.
Democrat policy at work
TheBlaze previously reported that a 43-year-old black suspect, whom police have identified as McRae, killed three MSU students: Arielle Diamond Anderson, Brian Fraser, and Alexandria “Alex” Verner.
MSU Police indicated that shots were fired after 8 p.m. near Berkey Hall on the East Lansing campus. After the initial shooting, the gunman reportedly opened fire at the MSU Union, where students often gather to eat or study.
Five additional victims were transported to E.W. Sparrow Hospital with “life-threatening” injuries.
When law enforcement closed in on the suspect with the help of a public tip nearly four hours after the initial shooting, the gunman committed suicide with a gun the Democrat DA’s office enabled him to possess legally.