Judge & Constable find themselves “under fire” for donation to help fund a safe graduation celebration
EAST MONTGOMERY COUNTY— Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constable Kenneth “Rowdy” Hayden and Justice of the Peace James Metts were disappointed to learn someone contacted a Houston television station regarding their contribution of a firearm to be raffled off as part of Project Graduation 2017, benefiting graduating seniors from all three East Montgomery County high schools. Splendora Police Chief Wally Wieghat, who owns Trinity Armory of Cleveland, was also dismayed to hear of the controversy. The chief was so supportive of their effort to provide graduating seniors with a safe and supervised celebration, he volunteered to sell Metts and Hayden the gun at his cost.
Volunteer parents had 1,000 raffle tickets printed to sell at a cost of $10 each, with the proceeds to be divided between Splendora, New Caney, and Porter High Schools’ Project Gradation 2017. A drawing will be held at the Precinct 4 Constable’s Office on May 14. The KAB Arms LLC Model GLF Cal. 223 AR-15 will remain at Trinity Armory until the raffle winner goes to claim it, and passes the same federal background check required for anyone purchasing a firearm in Texas.
“Nothing illegal or wrong is happening and nothing will be circumvented,” Wieghat said.
The police chief, with over three decades in law enforcement and a successful business, said it was absurd to suggest he would jeopardize all of that in such a way, but Chief Wieghat believes the controversy was never actually about concern for how the transaction would be handled. He, and many others, believe the highly publicized ongoing national debate over firearms simply made someone see the raffle donation as an opportunity to try and damage the Judge’s and Constable’s reputation.
“We’ve got two elected officials wanting to help kids, and it’s a shame to see someone spin it off and try to use it for political gain,” Wieghat said.
Kevin McDonald, president of Splendora Project Graduation Class of 2017 and parent of graduating senior Kiara McDonald, was also disturbed by the notion that someone would spread false rumors about officials trying to help parents fund such a worthwhile event that provides an alternative to the alcohol filled parties that have resulted in so many tragedies.
“I’m so thankful, as a parent, for their caring support of our children,” McDonald said. “Neither (Metts, nor Hayden) just says they support children – they prove it and I wish more people could see what they do.”
Judge Metts and Constable Hayden grew up in East Montgomery County and chose to stay and raise their families, as well as becoming public servants. They participate in, contribute to or sponsor, many events and organizations that support the community’s youth.
Judge Metts and Constable Hayden also support the Second Amendment and have testified before a house committee in Austin in March 2013, expressing their support for a bill that prevented local law enforcement agencies from being forced to enforce President Obama’s federal gun control regulations. Both are lifetime NRA members and firearms enthusiasts, and were surprised and disappointed to learn of the opposition to their raising $10,000 to help local graduates have a safe celebration.
Initially, some feared the supposed controversy might hinder efforts to raise money for Project Graduation. However, those fears were gone by Thursday morning. As word spread that someone was twisting the facts and trying to create outrage over the raffle, people began to call Judge Metts and Constable Hayden and others whose names were connected with the issue, not to complain, but to ask where they could purchase raffle tickets in a show of support.
Anyone wishing to purchase raffle tickets or contribute to Splendora’s part of the event can call Kevin McDonald at 281-798-8355.
Judge Metts and Constable Hayden in Austin after testifying before a House Committee along with other members of a delegation from Montgomery County concerned with Second Amendment rights.
For those who may have been confused or misled by the liberal media or anti-Second Amendment activists flooding social media with bad information, here is a simple chart explaining the “AR” in AR-15 and what it really means. (This information has been verified over and over) Please share this with anyone who may be perpetuating the myth that “AR” stands for “assault rifle”.
Editorial note: We’re in complete agreement with Chief Wieghat regarding the true intent of the outcry regarding the Judge and Constable. Living in Montgomery County for around a decade and a half, we’ve seen firearms auctioned or raffled off at most of the many fundraisers held every year, regardless of what organization, candidate or cause stood to benefit. Firearms and related items are donated for auction or raffle for one very simple reason – they always offer a better return for the investment that most other items. There’s a simple reason for that too – Montgomery County if filled with conservative, pro-Second Amendment, gun loving men and women. Many families in East Montgomery County, like the Hayden family and the Metts family, have been here for generations and hunting is a tradition for many families. But, not all guns are used for hunting. Collectible type firearms are often passed down from one generation to the next. (and some have grandchildren) would recklessly place a powerful firearm in the midst of a large group of excited teenagers, or illegally circumvent the state’s process for ensuring firearms don’t fall into the wrong hands. Either is an absurd notion, but given the current political climate, it isn’t completely surprising that some morally flexible person or persons would try to use the outrageous fabrication to attack two of the county’s most popular elected officials with no regard for the effect their maliciousness might have on the graduates.
Fortunately, the rumors and attempt to draw in more liberal media from outside Montgomery County has only resulted in more sales of raffle tickets!
On behalf of Montgomery County Police Reporter, Congratulations to the graduating seniors of Precinct 4! We wish you a safe and wonderful graduation night, and success in whatever path your life takes.
Congratulations also to Constable Hayden and Judge Metts for being so involved with your community and so well-respected that this presumed attack on your good deed not only failed, but backfired!
Score another win for the good guys!
(Please share this story and help clear up any remaining confusion these false rumors created)