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WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 28: Representative John Conyers (D-MI) FILE (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images) WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 28: Representative John Conyers (D-MI) FILE (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)  

Democratic aide brings gun into courthouse, receives ticket

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Robby Soave
Reporter

An aide to Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers got off with a warning after illegally bringing a gun into a public building.

Security officers at a federal building in downtown Detroit found a gun in the purse of Betty Petrenz, Conyers’ office manager. Bringing weapons into government buildings is strictly forbidden, but Petrenz received no sentence or formal punishment. Just a ticket, which will be stricken from her record if she demonstrates good behavior.

Conyers is a strong advocate of stronger gun control laws whose votes have earned him an “F” grade from the National Rifle Association.

The lenient punishment is in stark contrast with the fates of three other people who broke the law, and were either fired, forced to resign, or criminally charged, according to The Detroit Free Press.

Petrenz is fortunate that she isn’t a kindergartner on her way to school. Kids who were discovered carrying toy guns on buses have faced steep punishments, including expulsion.

“Children are literally suspended from school for bringing gun-shaped pop tarts to school, yet this Democratic clerk gets off scott-free,” read a post at the conservative site Rare.

Chewing a pop tart into the shape of a gun earned eight-year-old Joshua Welch a suspension.

A North Carolina high school student and Eagle Scout was arrested and suspended after accidentally parking on campus with a gun in his car. And wearing a t-shirt with a National Rifle Association logo was enough to get Jared Marcum, a West Virginian eighth-grader, suspended and arrested.

Conyers’ staffer is not alone among anti-gun political figures who have gotten in trouble for bringing weapons into ostensibly gun-free zones. Last year, Illinois state Sen. Donne Trotter was charged with a felony when he tried to bring a loaded handgun onto a flight from Chicago’s O’Hare airport to Washington, D.C. Trotter’s case was reduced to a misdemeanor reckless conduct charge, to which he pleaded guilty in April and was sentenced to a year of court supervision. His state Senate job was unaffected by the incident.

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