BELLEVUE, WA â€“ 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.
â€œThis man was fired by the Wayne County Department of Public Services for doing the right thing,â€ said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. â€œWe are stunned that this situation has continued for two weeks. Wayne County officials need to correct this nonsense.â€
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 didnâ€™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.
â€œThe police reportedly commended Chevilott,â€ Gottlieb noted, â€œbut his bosses fired him for â€˜violating policy.â€™ 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?â€
In addition to firing Chevilott, the county also suspended his supervisor for 30 days. The local labor union has filed a grievance on Chevilottâ€™s behalf.
â€œThe policy Chevilott violated forbids employees from having weapons while on the job,â€ Gottlieb observed, â€œbut thatâ€™s aimed at the carrying of personal weapons, not picking up loose guns found on the job and turning them over to police. It doesnâ€™t take a rocket scientist to see the difference, and for Mr. Chevilottâ€™s bosses to take such an inflexible position suggests it is bullheaded stubbornness, and nothing else, that is guiding their decision.
â€œMr. Chevilott should be immediately reinstated with full back pay,â€ Gottlieb said. â€œHe clearly exercised responsibility by taking that gun off the street. What he did demonstrates far more civic leadership than his bosses at Wayne County.â€