Huron Valley Guns in New Hudson, Michigan, wrote in a Facebook post that one of the suspects worked for the company for three weeks in February. The employee was then fired after showing up to work in “a LOT of tactical gear”.
"We found that a little odd," the company wrote. "We weren't comfortable with him for a few other reasons and fired him after 3 weeks. He ended up being one of the fringe characters arrested for the Governor Whitmer kidnapping."
Ed Swadish, owner of Huron Valley Guns, confirmed to The Detroit News that the man worked for the company at the start of February. On the advice of his lawyer, Mr Swadish said he would not reveal the name of the former employee.
The employee, Mr Swadish said, worked on the gun range.
"If this were a factory, this would be the equivalent of a floor sweeper," Mr Swadish said about the position.
Huron Valley Guns made it clear the former employee only shortly worked on the gun range and the company had no connection to the man and the suspected plot against the Democratic governor.
"The governor would have had a field day against the Trump campaign," the company wrote when explaining why the campaign visit was cancelled. "They would accuse the administration of sending his son to a facility where terrorists work and train.
"This could not be further from the truth, but imagine the left spin."
Last week federal and state officials brought charges against 13 people on suspicion of plotting to kidnap Ms Whitmer.
Authorities used confidential sources, undercover agents, and secret recordings to infiltrate the plot against the governor.
It was discovered that some of the 13 suspects conducted coordinated surveillance on the governor’s vacation home in August and September. Several men also reached out to an armed right-wing group in Michigan to assist in carrying out the plan, according to the FBI’s affidavit.
These men were attempting to retaliate against Ms Whitmer over her “uncontrolled power” amid the coronavirus pandemic, authorities said. Four men in custody reportedly met last week to pay for explosives and tactical gear to use during the plot.
Ms Whitmer put major restrictions on the state of Michigan in an effort to curb the spread of the novel virus. The steps she made during the pandemic put her in consideration to be a running mate for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, but she also received harsh criticism from residents who thought Ms Whitmer’s policies impeded on their constitutional rights.
Huron Valley Guns expressed disappointment in cancelling Eric Trump’s visit, as the company has been a vocal supporter for the sitting president. But the decision was made to prevent backlash for Donald Trump and his campaign amid the news a former employee was suspected in the kidnapping plot.
"While we are completely disappointed, we would not want anything to hurt the chances of President Trump," Huron Valley Guns posted on Facebook. "So for that, we are glad this came out before the event occurred."
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