Detroit police chief James Craig explains NRA article

Chief Craig's vocal support for gun rights gains national attention

DETROIT – Detroit Police Chief James Craig is getting some national attention for his stance on residents' gun ownership. 

Craig has been vocal about his support for Detroit residents protecting themselves with guns. He has been outspoken on his belief that homeowners should protect their property, themselves and others with fire arms. 

Watch: Detroit police Chief Craig to gun owners: Defend your homes

Now, he's featured in the National Rifle Association's "America's 1st Freedom" magazine. The article, titled "A Show of Courage in Detroit," includes a Q&A with Craig, who said he never expected to create a "big stir" with his comments. 

He told the NRA magazine that his experience as police chief in Portland, Maine -- where he said there were a lot of CCW holders -- helped him believe it makes a difference in deterring criminals. 

In the article, Craig said there are many more CPL -- concealed pistol license -- holders in the city of Detroit now than when he was growing up in the city. 

"And so, of late as you know, there've been a number of incidents involving armed citizens responding to an immediate threat to their life or what they believe to be a threat to the life of someone else," Craig told the magazine. "What I have said, and continue to say, is I believe responsible, good Americans have a right to protect themselves from an immediate threat to their life or to the life of another."

You can read the full article here. 

He goes on to talk about the recent incidents of criminals being shot to death by crime victims and driving crime down in the city. 

"This is not about inciting vigilantism, because in my view when you talk about vigilantism, you're talking about someone who has made a decision to do law enforcement's job -- go out and enforce the law. This is not that at all. This is about self-defense, protection, an imminent threat to life, very different response," Craig said in the article.

Craig explains NRA article

During a news conference Monday afternoon, Craig answered questions about the article. He downplayed any support for the NRA, saying he's not a member and never has been. However, he wouldn't object to the group holding a convention in Detroit.

"I don't see a problem. Organizations that want to hold conventions in Detroit is probably good for the city's economy," he said.

Craig reiterated many of his quotes in the article.


"This is not a statement that promotes violence. In fact, I would like to see no violence," he said.

He had no idea he would be on the cover of the magazine or how the article would be written exactly.

"Candidly, I haven't received any flak -- more accurately, since this article was released and even before that. I get stopped by many community members who live, work in the city of Detroit and many who live outside the city of Detroit, who have applauded the position," he said.

About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.