Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee and Poison singer Bret Michaels took a trip to a North Carolina shooting range to blow off some steam together, and could end up with felony charges as a result.
The pair took time out from their US tour prior to playing the state's Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Charlotte on July 12, and were accompanied to the shooting range by police officers from Rowan County Sheriff's Office. The only catch: at least one of them may have criminal records which prohibit them from using guns. North Carolina's Felony Firearms Act declares it an offense "for any person who has been convicted of a felony to purchase, own, possess, or have in his custody, care, or control any firearm."
Michaels has no clear record of a felony conviction, though Lee did plea no contest to felony abuse charge in 1998. A TV news channel showed photos of the visit to sheriff and local police chiefs in a recent broadcast, and under the headline “Rock stars with guns” station anchor Allison Latos says: “The sheriff and local police chiefs didn’t know about it until we brought it to their attention. It could be illegal if any of those men have criminal records that prohibits them from using guns."
“There were officers from the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, Salisbury and Spencer police departments with the rockers. We found that out when the sheriff and both chiefs called me to say they’re now investigating. The sheriff wants to know if the pictures show bad judgement, a policy problem or a crime.”
At the end of the day, two rock stars were surrounded by cops and shooting weapons at fixed targets in a secure location. There's no need for such controversy. But in today's hyper-regulatory world of personal invasion and distraction from genuinely meaningful issues, we get to focus on what washed-up rock stars past their danger-loving prime do on their off-days while in the company of cops.