A Michigan woman asked a city official to condemn the Proud Boys during a live stream meeting and he showed off his rifle instead.
Keli MacIntosh asked officials from the Michigan Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners if they would denounce the group that has seen multiple arrests after the January 6 Capitol attacks that killed five people.
The commission's vice chair, Ron Clous, showed a semiautomatic rifle after the question was posed.
Now, people are calling on Clous to resign.
A Michigan woman asked a city official to condemn the Proud Boys during a live stream meeting. Instead, he flashed his rifle.
During the Michigan Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners' live-streamed public meeting last week, Ron Clous, the commission's vice-chair, can be seen rising from his seat, stepping out of the frame, and returning with a semiautomatic rifle in his hands after Keli MacIntosh asked officials if they would denounce the Proud Boys during Wednesday's Zoom call.
Now, people are calling on Clous to resign, according to USA Today.
In a letter from Traverse City-based attorney Michael Naughton, he claims Clous violated a Michigan law that "a person cannot willingly show a firearm in public," The Ticker reported.
She referred to the county's status as a "Second Amendment sanctuary," threats against Governor Gretchen Whitmer who was the center of a kidnapping plot last fall, and the Proud Boys' armed presence at the state capitol. Members of the Proud Boys have been charged in the January 6 Capitol attacks that killed five people.
"It's really hard to tell the difference between the Proud Boys and the message they want through our state, how that's different from what's happened in Washington," MacIntosh said, adding that welcoming the Proud Boys and their message has "changed the environment in Northern Michigan from a hunting culture to that of a gun culture."
MacIntosh told The Washington Post she was terrified after the incident.
"He is supposed to be looking out for the best interests of the community," she told The Post. "What is the message he's trying to convey? That if someone speaks out against us, we'll just threaten them with a gun?"
Clous spoke to the Traverse City Record-Eagle and defended his actions.
"I was just going to show the rifle and show that I fully support the Second Amendment, but then I opted not to ... I was in my home," he said.
He told the newspaper he won't denounce any group, including Black Lives Matter, the NFL, or LBGTQ.
"The only thing I know about them (Proud Boys) is when they came and spoke to us," Clous said. "They were probably the most respected folks that got up and talked. They were decent guys and they treated us with respect.
The Southern Poverty Law Center considered the Proud Boys as a hate group.
Intosh claimed the commissioner invited the Proud Boys to speak for 20 minutes at a March meeting, but the commission's Chairman Rob Hentschel denied the claim.
"I'm not a member of Proud Boys and I did not give a Proud Boy 20 minutes of time," Hentschel, who appeared amused when Clous showed up his firearm, said in Wednesday's meeting.
"I've met Black, multiracial, and Puerto Rican Proud Boys - they've informed me they have gay Proud Boys," he added. "I don't see how that's a hate group."
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