Lucas Gerhard studied Law Enforcement at Michigan’s Lake Superior State University, just a short walk from the US and Canada border. He studied there until he was charged with the felony charge of making terrorist threats, and under the Michigan Penal Code, he could face up to 20 years in prison.
You see, Lucas posted a photo of an AR-15 with a bit of commentary that made a female student on campus feel threatened. Someone grabbed a screenshot of the AR15 with his comment and reported it to the safety office. What did Lucas say to upset someone so badly? He posted the picture and put this commentary on it:
Takin this bad boy up, this outta make the snowflakes melt, aye? And I mean snowflakes as in snow. 😉
Searching the apartment of Lucas Gerhard
Shortly after the post was reported, police went to Lucas’ apartment, and with his permission and cooperation, they allowed them to search his car and his room. During the search, they found the following:
- 700 rounds of ammo in two metal ammo boxes
- three 30 round magazines
- police baton (required for one of his classes)
- detached AR bayonet
- two small bladed knives
- spring loaded BB pistol
It should be noted that the rifle, ammo, and magazines were stored properly and were not easily accessible. Lucas was not in trouble for having the items properly stored. He was asked to turn over these items to the police, and he did so without incident.
During his hearing, the prosecutor threatened to add an additional charge unless he pleaded guilty to “firearm in the commission of a felony”. He declined and isn’t pleading. The prosecutor paints Lucas as a right-wing nut job and even had the office comment that his conservative values could be seen as “extreme”.
There are a number of items that are going against Lucas at the moment that need to be corrected:
- The law in Michigan for the terrorist code needs to be updated. Currently, using his intent, as he wasn’t going to hurt folks, won’t be able to be used as a defense.
- In general, people can’t have disagreements without villainizing the other side. (This goes for both sides)
The person who reported the original threat has had multiple disagreements with Lucas Gerhard about their own beliefs and how the world should work. They are at college; isn’t that what’s supposed to happen? You disagree, you get exposed to new ideas, and maybe you learn a thing or two.
What can you do to help?
If you feel inclined, there is a GoFundMe page helping Lucas raise some cash for his legal defense.
If it were me, I’d offer this advice to all the young people I cared about:
- Stop posting pictures of everything; the internet is ink for millions to see.
- Disagree with people; let them be wrong; it will be okay.
- Don’t join social media to keep up with people; it’s all fake.
Mprn, Rick Pluta |. “Trial Can Go Forward Against Student Accused of Making Terrorist Threat on Snapchat.” Michigan Radio, 25 June 2021, www.michiganradio.org/news/2021-06-25/trial-can-go-forward-against-student-accused-of-making-terrorist-threat-on-snapchat.
Bellinger, Barbara. “Terrorism Threat Needs Sharper Definition, Lawmakers Say.” Spartan Newsroom, 22 Oct. 2021, news.jrn.msu.edu/2021/10/terrorism-threat-needs-sharper-definition-lawmakers-say.
Clark, Alex. “LSSU Student Loses Appeal on Terrorism Threat Charge.” https://www.uppermichiganssource.com, 2 July 2021, www.uppermichiganssource.com/2021/07/02/lssu-student-loses-appeal-terrorism-threat-charge.
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