Hello City Manager Waterman,
I am writing to you in response to recent comments that you were quoted as making in an MLive article HERE. Specifically, that open carriers are "testing the waters" and are "looking for an opportunity to file a lawsuit".
Sir, with due respect, I believe that you have us misunderstood.
Speaking as a leadership member for an organization that represents Open Carriers, I assure you that we are indeed not looking for a lawsuit. In fact, it's the exact opposite. Myself and other members of my organization put forward a great deal of work to educated both sides in an effort to see legal action avoided. We believe the laws surrounding open carry in Michigan are clear and well established, and it is our goal to educate both citizens and government on what those laws plainly say and mean.
As an open carrier, I open carry primarily as a means of protecting myself, wife and child. Open carry has repeatedly been shown to deter crime before it starts, as opposed to stopping crime after it starts as carrying concealed is more closely related to. This is exactly why police officers generally open carry. I, in no way, wish to be someone that successfully used their firearm to defend themselves or their family, but rather, it is my sincere wish that I end up someone who never had to defend themselves with their firearm.
Furthermore, I am a law abiding citizen, and that does not change based on some imaginary line that I have crossed, just as a criminal is not deterred by that very same line. As a potential victim, I have the misfortune of not being the one that decides when or where I will become said victim.
Again, myself and Michigan Open Carry seek to educate not only those that must follow the law, but also those that that are tasked with enforcing the law. The majority of the time, municipalities that we reach out to are willing to work with us and respect the laws of this State. Other times, some we reach out to possess an ideological stubbornness that might cause them to believe that they are better off not following State law. Often times the actions of the stubborn ideological few lead not only to their own detriment, but to the detriment of citizens of the municipality and the State.
If you would like more information, have any questions, or ever need assistance, please do not hesitate to ask.
Assistant Legislative Director
Assistant SW Regional Coordinator
Michigan Open Carry, Inc.