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Thwarted Plot to Kidnap Gov. Whitmer Underscores the Danger of Illegal Militias and Right-wing Extremism

    Washington, DC — Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization co-founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, expressed its outrage at the extremists who allegedly plotted to violently overthrow the government and kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The individuals who were charged today also plotted to attack law enforcement officers and ignite civil war. 

    The thwarted plot is a serious reminder for all Americans of the danger of self-styled private “militias,” which are illegal and in no way protected by the Second Amendment. As the United States draws closer to one of the most consequential elections in American history, the nation faces the threat of armed extremists like those charged today who revel in political chaos and use violence in an attempt to prevent voters from taking part in our democracy. Giffords has put together a resource for election officials about the laws that protect voters, poll workers, and all citizens from armed voter intimidation at the polls. 

    Peter Ambler, Giffords Executive Director:

    “Today’s revelations about the thwarted plot to kidnap Governor Whitmer and to foment violence against the state are a stark reminder of what’s at stake in this election. We cannot allow our democracy to be held at gunpoint. This is President Donald Trump’s America, where emboldened white supremacists and armed vigilantes plot to overthrow democratically elected leaders and attack law enforcement. Former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris will work to unite the country and expel the hatred that Trump has emboldened. There is no place for political violence of any kind in America, and we need a president and vice president who have the courage to stand up to extremism.”

    Jon Gold, President of Giffords Michigan Gun Owners for Safety:

    “The plot to kidnap our governor is an attack on our values, our democracy, and our safety. Armed intimidation has no place in America. The violent extremists charged today belong to the darkest, most despicable fringes of society, and they most certainly do not speak for gun owners in Michigan.” 

    Related Resources:

    Report: Preventing Armed Voter Intimidation: A State-by-State Analysis

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