Radio Made in Michigan
4:16 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Gun Charge Against Ex-Speaker Tossed As Unconstitutional

A gun charge filed against former state House Speaker Craig DeRoche has been dismissed.

Credit Annarbor.com

The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled a charge of possessing a firearm while intoxicated violated his Second Amendment rights.

The Michigan Public Radio Network's Rick Pluta reports.

DeRoche was charged with being drunk while possessing a firearm in the summer of 2010. His mother-in-law told police he had locked himself in one of his children’s bedrooms with a 40-caliber-handgun. But, by the time police arrived, she had already taken the gun and hidden it.

DeRoche challenged the criminal charge as a violation of his Second Amendment rights. The Court of Appeals agreed and said, since the gun had been moved away from him to another part of the house, he was only near the firearm – not in possession of it. The court decision says to rule otherwise would be too restrictive – essentially, people in a residence with a firearm anywhere in it could not consume alcohol.

DeRoche served as the state House Republican leader from 2005 to 2008. He says he has quit drinking.