Big League Politics is reporting that Lucas Gerhard was arrested and held without bail for eighty-three days last year and is facing up to two decades years in prison. His crime?
Posting this picture:
In August of 2019, the twenty-year-old college student shared a picture on Snapchat of his legally owned AR-15 rifle. He included a caption that read, “Takin this bad boy up, this outta make the snowflakes melt, aye? And I mean snowflakes as in snow.”
Gerhard proceeded to transport the rifle from his home near Detroit to Lake Superior State University (LSSU), located in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Upon arrival, he complied with the college’s weapons policy by turning his firearm over to campus officers for storage.
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In an interview with Gun Powder Magazine, Gerhard’s father described his son as a staunch conservative who had been repeatedly harassed and had his car vandalized by left-wing students.
One of them said she felt threatened by the picture, with Big League Politics quoting her statement to police as, “I seen the picture, and when he said like make the snowflakes melt, it kind of made me assume that, um, kind of like as with the gun and shoot other civilians and stuff with it.”
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The complainant admitted to having had political disputes with Gerhard in the past.
He was arrested two days later on charges of making “terroristic threats,” and would spend the next eighty-three days in jail before finally being granted bail. He is currently confined to his father’s home.
Gerhard insists that he posed no danger to anyone, and at least one college official seemed to agree. Jason Wenglikowski was at the time serving as LSSU’s director of communications, and he told a local news affiliate that “our students were never in danger. Staff, faculty–no one was in danger.”
Still, prosecutors are pushing ahead, and Gerhard’s father believes that the school is pressuring them to do so.
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“I think it’s vindictive prosecution,” Mark Gerhard said to Big League Politics. “The school is using this case as an example. They are showing zero tolerance. They are the 800 pound gorilla standing on the prosecutor’s shoulders saying we need to make an example.”
Gerhard’s attorney is adamant too, telling the website, “My client is completely innocent. He is not a terrorist and made no threat of terrorism. This is what happens when victim mentality is rewarded.”
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Gerhard had been hoping to pursue a career in law enforcement prior to this incident, but even if he is acquitted, the arrest now makes that highly unlikely. A friend has created a GoFundMe page for those who wish to help with his legal costs.
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