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Thread: Michigan News articles on Open carry

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    Lansing StateJournal
    December 2, 2007 By Brian Jeffs

    Jeffs: Mich. is among states that allow citizens to openly carry handguns
    Some restrictions do apply, but citizens have right to carry.

    A movement is growing nationwide as more residents are exerting a right that is not often exercised. That right is the open carry of a handgun for all lawful purposes. Forty-four states allow the open carry of a handgun by adults who can lawfully own one. Few realize, including some in law enforcement, that Michigan is one of these states.

    One does not need a concealed pistol license to open carry, but it makes it easier to do so. In Michigan, non-CPL holders can only transport an unloaded handgun secured in a case or in the trunk of their vehicle under specific conditions defined by law (
    MCL 750.227).

    CPL holders, however, can transport a loaded handgun in their vehicle or on their person, either concealed or openly. CPL holders can carry or transport a handgun registered to another person as long as the handgun is lawfully owned and registered in Michigan (MCL
    Act 372, 28.432). A non-CPL holder can only carry a handgun that is registered in their name. If one spouse is a CPL holder and the other is not, the CPL holding spouse can transport the other's handgun as well as their own. Once the non-CPL holding spouse leaves the vehicle they can carry their loaded handgun openly. This method can be employed by non-relatives as well. A non-CPL holder must unload and secure his handgun before entering a vehicle.

    Why open carry? One reason is that an adult under 21 years of age can not get a CPL in Michigan, but the law allows them to openly carry. A second reason is that a person may not be able to afford the high cost of the initial permit, which can exceed $300.
    Before deciding to openly carry a handgun, it behooves you to research Michigan firearm laws (http://www.michigan.gov/msp). There are restrictions in which a person can possess a firearm. These restrictions vary slightly for concealed carry and open carry. These restrictions can be found inMCL
    28.424o and 750.234d. Game laws also exist that restrict times and areas a firearm can be carried.

    Michigan has a firearm preemption law that disallows local municipalities from passing laws more restrictive than the state without state approval. This allows open carry in any city as well as most municipal buildings. Most federal property has restrictions on firearm possession. A review of federal firearm laws is recommended. Additionally, private property owners can restrict firearms in their building and on their property. If you are asked to leave private property, you must do so or face a trespass charge.

    Openly carrying a firearm has restrictions and is not for everyone. Become familiar with firearm laws and the use of deadly force. Carrying a firearm is a great responsibility each person must consider. For those wishing to carry a firearm for protection and all lawful purposes, though, it is an option worth looking into. Remember, a right not exercised is a right lost.


    The Flint Journal: Saturday June 14, 2008,

    Openly carrying their guns, group touts unorthodox beliefs at Burton park
    by Melissa Burden

    BURTON, Michigan -- Pistols in their holsters and holsters on their hips, a small group of people who believe in the right to openly carry -- loaded handguns, that is -- met today at Kelly Lake Park for a picnic and spread the word about their unorthodox beliefs.

    "We don't do this for attention or to show off," said retired postal worker Jerry Brewer, 55, of Owosso. "We just purely want to educate." State of Michigan geologist Brian Jeffs, 50, of Bath Township near Lansing has openly carried his 9mm semiautomatic Smith & Wesson for the past eight months, while Nathan Nephew, 21, of Frankenmuth, who works in information technology, claims he openly carries his handgun to protect himself and his loved ones.

    And what they are doing is legal, as long as the handguns they are carrying are visible and stay in their holsters, said Burton Police Chief John Benthall. Brandishing the weapon would be breaking the law, Benthall said. "I have researched this every way I can and I cannot find any law against it," he said.

    Brewer, Nephew andJeffs are all members of theonline community at http://www.opencarry.org, a pro-gun Web site that claims thousands of registered members across the U.S. At about noon, a group of about six open-carry advocates gathered in a picnic area in the nearly empty park, with just an angler or two across the lake.

    Jeffs said the open-carry group grew to about 16 or 17 later in the afternoon and that a few park-goers stopped to ask questions.Benthall said Friday that Burton police weren't going to react to the group meeting in public, nor have a police presence at the park, unless they received a call.Benthall said he had contact with members of opencarry.org about an open carry and meeting in Burton. "I haven't given them permission," Benthall said. "I personally don't think this is a good idea. I think this is going to frighten people who don't understand that is legal."

    Jeffs said he and others who post on opencarry.org want to help the public become more aware and more accustomed to seeing people openly carrying handguns, knowing that it is legal and that "you shouldn't necessarily feel threatened and call the police."Jeffs said he takes his 9mm with him on the weekends when he heads into Lansing to shop or stop by a coffee shop. "I'm doing it for the fact that I want to exercise a right," he said. Brewer, who hosts "Saturday Afternoon Shootout" with his son, Steve, every other Saturday at 3 p.m. on http://www.FlintTalkRadio.com., said he's had few questions when out in public with his gun on his hip, including some from law enforcement.

    The Michigan group has met a few times in the past six months or so, openly packing their pistols, including at a Flint Township McDonald's. Nephew, who came to the picnic with his live-in girlfriend, Christina Florence, 24, and her daughter,Kayleeanna Florence, 3, claimed carrying the weapon is a deterrent to being mugged or attacked. Florence said she was apprehensive about guns for a time, having not grown up with them around, but feels safer with Nephew carrying his. She also has a concealed permit, but doesn't openly carry. But they are careful with the weapon and feel safe carrying it around Kayleeanna, Nephew and Florence said. "It's either in my holster or it's locked up," Nephew said.

    Detroit Free Press
    Gun owners show their metal in Hastings

    About 40 stroll for 2nd Amendment

    BY CHRIS CHRISTOFF • FREE PRESS LANSING BUREAU CHIEF • July 25, 2008

    HASTINGS -- Most of us probably don't know it, but Michigan is among the 44 states where it's legal to carry a gun in public without a permit.

    To make that point, about 40 gun advocates walked out of Richie's Koffee Shop Inc. late Thursday afternoon with handguns holstered at their sides, part of a small but growing national movement to stand up for the constitutional right to bear arms. They strolled down this tidy west Michigan town's main street, barely causing a stir among passing motorists and pedestrians. When they finished, the group -- mostly white men -- gathered around a fountain at the Barry County Courthouse and heard a red-meat, pro-Second Amendment speech by organizer Skip Coryell, 50, who wore his .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun openly for the first time and extolled the virtues of carrying a weapon.

    "Look at all the people around you carrying guns and not a criminal in sight," said Coryell, a gun instructor and self-styled publisher who lives near Holland. "Quite frankly, I don't feel criminals would feel comfortable among us right now." He said educating people about their right to carry guns openly is the "next wave of the Second Amendment."

    The event, tinged with local gun politics, was the latest statement from gun advocates around the country to promote and defend the open toting of handguns. Earlier this summer, a small group caused a minor stir when they showed up to picnic at a park near Flint wearing holsters on their hips. On Sunday, 10 people made headlines in Boise, Idaho, when they carried handguns into the local zoo.

    Peter Hamm, spokesman for the Brady Campaign, the largest U.S. gun control organization, said he doesn't dispute the legal right to carry weapons openly but thinks those who demonstrate for such rights are pushy and aggressive. "Their No. 1 mission seems to be making other people nervous," he said. "That's a little childish. Of all the issues that need volunteerism in this country, in Michigan, in Detroit, you'd think people would find a more useful way to use their volunteer hours than walking around showing they have a gun."

    Organizers said they were defying Hastings Police Chief Jerry Sarver, whom they say wants to stifle their gun rights. Sarver, who's running for Barry County sheriff, denies that he wants to step on anyone's rights and acknowledged that Michigan law allows people to carry their handguns in a holster. "We're not going to interfere with them," Sarver said before the rally. "I think that's what they want."

    The event was heavily promoted on the Web site OpenCarry.org, the premier place on the Internet for those who like their pistols at their side. Web site cofounder Mike Stollenwerk, a retired Army officer, said he and partner John Pierce started the site in 2004 out of a mutual interest in U.S. gun laws. "It's a couple of geeky guys who put together some maps and a database, and it became a movement," Stollenwerk said. Stollenwerk said the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that assured the right of individuals to own and carry guns stoked some interest in the open-carry movement, but he added that it's been growing on its own.

    His Web site has more than 8,500 registered members and has been attracting 600,000 visitors a month, he said. The Hastings event was posted, and this week Stollenwerk issued a news release about it that suggested a looming confrontation in the streets. It didn't happen.

    Heather Reed, 37, of Middleville, an unemployed animal-control officer, was among about a half dozen women who participated in Thursday's event. "I enjoy the freedom of the Second Amendment and I want to make a point that women ought to be able to defend themselves," said Reed, who packed an inoperable two-shot black powder antique derringer she had borrowed. "Right now I can't afford the .38 I want."

    Another gun toter was Alex Walden, 73, a retired dairy farmer who lives near Hastings and often carries his .32 caliber pistol with him in his holster. He said it makes him feel safer.

    About 155,000 Michiganders -- about one in every 75 -- have permits to carry concealed weapons. They must first pass an approved gun safety course -- something those who carry their weapons in the open aren't required to do.

    Carrying a gun openly in public doesn't require a permit, though people who want to purchase a handgun must fill out a form and turn it in to their local police or sheriff's department. The police agency is to check the buyer's background and issue a permit good for 10 days, according to the Michigan State Police Web site.

    In 2002, Michigan's law changed to require county gun boards to issue concealed weapon permits to adults who passed an approved safety course and did not have criminal records. Prior to the change, gun boards could deny permits for any reason.

    Dave Stevens, 56, a high school teacher and an NRA instructor with a shooting range in his backyard, holds a concealed weapons permit and usually would rather carry his handgun out of sight. "I don't want to advertise. You make yourself a target if you do." Still, on Thursday, he carried a loaded .45 caliber semi-automatic in the open.

    While the event brought some business to the restaurant where she works,
    DesaraiHaight, 23, a waitress at Richie's, said it left her a little nervous. "I think there should be some kind of screening or test to make sure people who carryweapons are of sound mind," she said.


    Macomb Daily
    [/b]Thursday, August 14, 2008

    By Norb Franz, Staff Writer

    'Open carry' group to gather

    Guns on hips, advocates to meet in Warren

    Ron Gibson carries a semi-automatic pistol on his hip for anyone to see, and insists he's not out to intimidate. When he goes to bed, the .45 caliber firearm is nearby and loaded. “Just because I'm carrying a gun, I shouldn't be viewed as a threat. I don't bring any attention to it whatsoever," he said.

    Gibson is among about three dozen members of a gun rights group who will "pack" a picnic with their families Saturday afternoon in Warren. They are part of a growing movement of advocates promoting the Second Amendment and the open carrying of handguns. The group, members of
    OpenCarry.org, invites the public to stop by at Veterans Memorial Park, on Campbell at Martin Road, and ask questions or pick up a pamphlet. But don't look for them to fire shots into the sky - or even take their weapons out of the holster.

    It's the first public event in
    Macomb County for the gun proponents, following other gatherings around Michigan - the most recent in Hastings. None of the events has caused much of a stir, but still raised a few eyebrows. "Our goal is to be educational without being confrontational," said Gibson, 38, of Washington Township. Pat Glide, salesman at Michi-Gun in St. Clair Shores, said most customers are knowledgeable about Michigan's right-to-carry gun laws. "We get asked questions on a daily basis," he said.

    Warren Police Commissioner William
    Dwyer said Wednesday his department is aware of Saturday's picnic. "We don't believe there are going to be any problems. We feel they certainly have a right to do what they're doing," he said. Still, Warren police plan to monitor it. Dispatchers have been advised about the picnic and how to handle any 911 calls. Dwyer refused to divulge details of an operational order he has issued for officers Saturday. "Hopefully it will be a peaceful picnic," he added.

    With Macomb County leading the way, Michigan's concealed weapons law was changed six years ago to require county gun boards - which previously could deny permits for virtually any reason - to issue a permit to any adult who passed a safety course and did not have a criminal record or mental illness.

    Gun-owning motorists must remove the holster and store the firearm unloaded in the trunk or other place far from reach when behind the wheel. Michigan is among 44 states where it's legal to carry a weapon in public with a permit. If the guns are holstered, they must be in plain view at all times, and legally purchased. Anyone purchasing a pistol must be at least 18 years old and register it with their local police department.

    Gibson said open-carry is not a form of machismo. He said some in law enforcement aren't knowledgeable about gun laws in their own respective states, occasionally leading to disputes with local officials. Members who are detained are usually released after police check with their municipal attorney. "Here in my neighborhood, I open carry almost every day," said Gibson, who said he's been threatened with arrest.

    Across the nation, gun rights advocates have gained new confidence from a landmark Supreme Court ruling in June that clarified that individuals have the right to keep guns in their homes for personal protection. The 5-4 decision overturned a 32-year-old handgun ban in Washington, D.C.

    In a society where many people keep cellular phones and Blackberry units on their belt, the handgun on Gibson's hip usually doesn't stand out. Still, someone in a store occasionally will inquire if he's a cop. When he replies that he's "just an ordinary citizen," some will question why he feels the need to pack a pistol. His answer: to protect his family and practice his constitutional rights. "A right
    unexercised is a right lost," the married father said. "I hope and pray I never have to fire that thing at anything but the paper target at the (gun) range. But if I feel my life is threatened or my family's life is threatened, then yeah."

    Gibson, a deer hunter who said he owns "several" rifles and shotguns, recalls firing a 12-gauge shotgun at age 4 with his father's guidance. The owner of a computer business, Gibson said he doesn't open carry when meeting with customers because he considers it inappropriate to display his advocacy to customers.

    OpenCarry.org members acknowledge that it might be unnerving for some in public to see a group openly toting handguns. With that, members try to combat what they describe as a stigma that gun owners are lawbreakers. Founded in 2004 by Virginia residents Mike Stollenwerk and John Pierce, OpenCarry.org's Web site boasts more than 8,500 registered members and records 600,000 hits a month.


    MACOMB[/b]DAILY[/b]

    By Christy Strawser,Macomb Daily Staff Writer
    Sunday, August 17, 2008

    Picnickers pack heat

    Gun enthusiasts meet peacefully at Warren park to prove point

    They came, they saw, they carried - and they didn't cause any problems.

    Members of OpenCarry.org peacefully set up shop Saturday at Veterans Memorial Park in Warren to prove a point about the Second Amendment and Michigan's gun laws.About 75 gun enthusiasts strolled through the park throughout the afternoon with sidearms strapped to their belts in plain view.

    The goal was to underscore that Michigan is among 44 states where it's legal to carry a gun in public without a permit, as long as it was legally purchased and registered. Concealed weapons permits are necessary for a hidden weapon.

    At Veterans Park, the guns were all out there for the world to see, but everyone followed the law and kept them holstered. Men, and a few women, chatted at picnic tables in shorts and T-shirts, some grilled bratwurst and hot dogs while kids played on the Playscape, and a couple of teens rode skateboards.

    "We're just having a picnic," organizer Ron Gibson said. "It's no different from any other day. The only difference is that we're carrying weapons." The quiet afternoon had only a single glitch, when one of the armed enthusiasts tried to walk to the park from his home in Warren. Police received a 911 call from a panicked woman about a man walking around with a gun. About 12 officers responded, but immediately sent the man on his way when he proved the gun was legally registered.

    Police Commissioner William Dwyer said they "would have been remiss" not to stop the man and question him. The incident upset some members of the club, who said educating police about gun laws was one of their themes for the day. "It's about being educational without being confrontational," Gibson said. He had plenty of officers to discuss the incident with because Warren police were out in force. Police set up a mobile command station at the park, two officers in uniform walked the grounds, an undercover officer watched the crowd with binoculars from the parking lot, and Dwyer made a personal appearance to chat with participants.

    The cops kept things friendly, explaining to club members they were there to protect them from "undesirables" who might try to show up with non-permitted weapons.

    "We were nervous initially about who would show up," Capt. Scott Pavlik said. "We're just being careful, but it's been very orderly."

    Mostly, the participants discussed how weapons save lives and deter crime by frightening criminals. "I can't carry at work, but if I'm going to the store or the coffee shop on weekends, I'll carry," said Brian Jeffs, a club member and senior geologist for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Similar demonstrations already played out in several states, and at least three Michigan cities - Flint, Grand Rapids and Hastings.
    The message was well received in Warren, where about 20 people showed up just to learn more about the group and the law. Mike Miller of St. Clair Shores said he never thought about carrying his gun in public until he heard about OpenCarry.org, so he stopped by to get more information. "I think this (picnic) is a great idea," Miller said. "It shows that people are aware of what's happening with the law."

    Carl Noechel lives down the street from the park, and he showed up to figure out why so many people were there with guns displayed. "It's different, but it doesn't bother me," he said. Club members were sure they garnered some new members for OpenCarry.org, which was founded in 2004 by Virginia residents Mike Stollenwerk and John Pierce.
    The Web site has more than 8,500 registered members and gets 600,000 hits a month.
    "The Michigan group has really taken hold," Jeffs said. "We get a couple of hundred hits a day."


    http://annarborchronicle.com/2008/10...ic-in-the-park

    ANN ARBOR CHRONICLE

    Pistols Make for Picnic in the Park
    Picnickers advocate for open carry by openly carrying
    By Dave Askins
    October 13, 2008

    On an unseasonably warm October Sunday afternoon at Ann Arbor’s Wheeler Park, supporters of the open carry of handguns gathered for a picnic, to demonstrate “what doesn’t happen” when people wear a handgun openly.



    Brian Jeffs.

    As The Chronicle approached one of the conversational pods, Ron Gibson made an effort to make us feel welcome, inviting us to join them in their meal of hot dogs, burgers, pasta salad, and powdered-sugar donuts. Gibson rarely makes a trip into Ann Arbor from his Washington Township home – but the organizer of this particular event, University of Michigan student Julian Lizzio, wanted to host a gathering close to where he’s currently living. Organization took place through an internet forum. Brian Jeffs, described by other picnickers as the “figurehead of the group,” said that similar events associated with this group date back to December 2007 in Brighton, which drew three people at a McDonald’s. A gathering in Warren, though, had brought out 75-100 people.

    Lizzio was satisfied with the Ann Arbor turnout of around 25, saying that too much publicity in Ann Arbor might have been counterproductive. Maybe a half dozen local Ann Arbor residents dropped by only because they said they’d read about it in The Ann Arbor News, which had published an item previewing the event. One of those News readers was Bob Powell, who had recently completed requirements for his Concealed Pistol License, but was unfamiliar with open carry.

    Asked if he’d decided who he was voting for in the upcoming election, Powell said he was going to vote for Obama – despite the fact that one of the picnic tables contained a display with National Rifle Association literature outlining the case against Obama. Powell said that overall he felt like Obama had a lot of good ideas and that he wasn’t going to let his position on firearms be the one determining factor.

    The Chronicle didn’t conduct a scientific poll of the gathering, but took at face value Gibson’s response to our question, “Do you figure we could find some Obama supporters here?” Laughed Gibson, “Good luck!” So Powell was likely the only Obama supporter in the crowd.


    Bob Powell and Doug Scott read about the open carry picnic in The Ann Arbor News and decided to check it out. Scott is holding a handout with the title: "You Can Openly Carry a Handgun in MIchigan."

    But not everyone was necessarily voting for McCain. Lizzio said that he was mulling the possibility of voting for one of the third party candidates like Bob Barr of the Libertarian Party. Although the Libertarian Party best reflects Lizzio’s attitudes on Second Ammendment isses, he says that he’s not involved with the campus Libertarian Party, which is fielding a candidate for mayor of Ann Arbor (Eric Plourde) in this November’s election. The
    College Libertarians at UM have conducted a free handgun giveaway in the past, although the giveaway does not entail bringing a handgun onto the campus, which is a weapon-free zone as declared by the UM regents.

    There are various other place restrictions on open carry – banks, churches, courts, theaters, sports arenas, day care centers, hospitals, bars. The basic requirements of open carry were summarized for The Chronicle by Gibson, collaborating with other picnickers, as follows:


    • the gun must be obtained legally
    • the gun must be properly registered
    • the carrier must be 18+ years old
    • the carrier must be on foot
    As a result, it’s easier to carry a weapon openly than concealed in Michigan. There are certain advantages, though, to having a Concealed Pistol License, which requires a licensing fee plus documented training at a range. Without a CPL, transport of a handgun with a motor vehicle to an event like Sunday’s picnic requires the weapon to be unloaded and inaccessible to occupants (e.g., in the trunk).

    In an open carry setting, it’s not legal to unholster a weapon to check to see if it’s loaded – but most of the picnickers could determine their weapon’s loading state through visual inspection in the holster. Gibson pointed out the contrast between a raised tab along the top of the barrel – indicating a round in the chamber – on his own pistol, and the flush tab on a fellow picnicker’s gun, which indicated no round in the chamber, even though there was a magazine loaded. Drawing a weapon requires the wearer to believe that they are in mortal danger.


    Ron Gibson checks out a volume by Ted Nugent.

    The picnickers by and large seemed prepared to live with the fact that there are plenty of situations where they won’t carry their weapons – some prescribed by rule, and others by social constraints. Brian Jeffs says that he doesn’t carry while working his job as a geologist for the State of Michigan, because his employer doesn’t allow it. And Ron Gibson said he was refused open carry at a graduation party in his own family, but rather than disrespect the graduate by not attending, he left his handgun at home. A smaller group of the picnickers were planning to head over to Maison Edwards tobacco shop in Nickels Arcade after the Wheeler Park gathering. They’d called ahead and said the owner didn’t mind the open carrying – as long as they bought some cigars.

    One of the messages that the assembled picnickers wanted us to take away was that guns are not bad and that people who own them are not bad people. “We’re not criminals,” said one picnicker. He fessed up to one infraction a couple of decades ago that resulted in a night in jail: public urination (in his own yard), which was recorded as indecent exposure. There’s something to be said about the importance of keeping things holstered, and yes, that joke was made.

    Looking for an alternative view on the open carrying at Wheeler Park, The Chronicle spotted a woman in a big pink floppy hat sitting on a bench in the middle of the park soaking up the sun, and pegged her as a neighbor who would deliver just the anti-open-carrying quote that we needed to provide some balance. Nope. It was Charlotte Reaume – she’d accompanied her husband, who was over in the shade under the shelter. Reaume is a candidate for Monroe County sheriff in November’s election. Her recollections of a career in law enforcement patrolling Conrail railyards with a black German shepherd named Prince filled out the rest of The Chronicle’s afternoon at Wheeler Park.


    A: Is there a round in the chamber or not?


    B: Is there a round in the chamber or not?


    A grill full of Koegel's at the open carry picnic.

    http://www.mlive.com/annarbornews/news/index.ssf/2008/10/attendees_at_ann_arbor_picnic.html
    Attendees at Ann Arbor picnic pack more than their lunches
    by Tom Gantert | The Ann Arbor News
    Monday October 13, 2008, 7:11 AM
    Eliyahu Gurfinkel | The Ann Arbor NewsRandy Graham of Burton tends to the grill while wearing his Glock handgun at a picnic at Wheeler Park in Ann Arbor on Sunday afternoon. The picnic was hosted by proponents of the open carrying of firearms.
    In many ways, it was a typical picnic on a beautiful Sunday in an Ann Arbor park - hot dogs, potato chips and hamburgers.

    Except for the fact it was BYOG.

    That's BYOG as in bring your own gun.

    For Julian Lizzio, a 21-year-old University of Michigan student, that meant packing a nickel-plated Colt .38-caliber pistol.

    Lizzio helped organize a rally for about 50 people at Wheeler Park at Sunday at 1 p.m. in favor of exercising their legal right to openly wear a firearm in public. About 20 people wore weapons in holsters. In Michigan, it's legal to carry a loaded pistol openly, but a concealed weapons permit is needed to carry a gun that's hidden.

    Eliyahu Gurfinkel | Ann Arbor NewsJulian Lizzio, a University of Michigan senior, talks to a reporter during a picnic at Ann Arbor 's Wheeler Park that he helped organize to promote the open carrying of handguns.
    "When people say, 'Why do you carry a gun?' I'm a little speechless," Lizzio said. "Why wouldn't you?"

    Sgt. Ed Stuck said Ann Arbor police received one call Sunday from a citizen reporting there were people in Wheeler Park with guns.

    Stuck said the city attorney's office ruled that it is legal to have a weapon in a holster in the open. Many of the advocates Sunday refused to take their weapon out of their holster when asked.

    "The only time you draw that weapon out in public is if you use it," said Brian Jeffs of Bath. "That's why you won't see anyone handling their gun."

    Doug Holloway made the trip to Wheeler Park from his home in Westland. Most of the people who attended were members of the OpenCarry.org, a national organization formed in 2004, to promote the right to carry a gun in the open.

    Holloway said he carries his Sig Sauer 4SW handgun for protection.

    When asked when he felt threatened enough to need a gun, Holloway said last winter when a man was "aggressively" approaching him outside a party store.

    "He asked me for change and he kept getting closer and closer," said Holloway, who was unarmed at the time. "He had his hands down by his side. I just told him to back up and stay away. He backed up."

    Holloway said if he had been openly carrying his handgun, the man never would have approached him.

    Lizzio said he was caught weaponless two years ago in Ann Arbor when he was chased by a drunken homeless person waving a broken bottle.

    "Muggers can say, 'This looks a little riskier than I would like,'" he said.

    Lizzio says he does not carry his gun to school, but feels his group would win in court if he challenged U-M over its ban on carrying weapons.

    Jeffs has been a regular at the gun picnics since they started in Brighton last December. He said four people showed up openly armed at the McDonalds in Brighton and "never had a problem."

    But the open gun advocates have their tales of harassment.

    Jeffs said he was kicked out of Barnes and Noble in East Lansing on Saturday for openly carrying his .357 Magnum revolver at a Ted Nugent book signing. Jeffs said he demanded a refund for Nugent's book.

    Jeffs said he thinks he could go his whole life without needing a firearm for protection. He carries it because it is his right. "I'm sick and tired of being told what to do by a police state," Jeffs said.

    Sometimes it is the police. Other times, it is just business owners, as Lizzio found out Sunday before the picnic.

    Lizzio went into Main Street Party Store to buy items for the picnic wearing his gun on his hip.

    The manager told him not to do it anymore.

    Dave Breher, manager at Main Street Party Store, said he'd rather give up the money if an armed robber came into the store than risk a gunfight happening in his store.
    "It makes me uncomfortable," Breher said. "Why would anyone carry a firearm except to use it?"

    "But you got to remember," Lizzio said. "No guns. No money. ... And I spend a lot of money there." When Breher was told he could lose a gun-toting customer, he said, "That's fine."

    Tom Gantert can be reached at tgantert@annarbornews.com or 734-994-6701.




    Jackson area police receive several calls about residents carrying sidearms
    by Steven Hepker | Jackson Citizen Patriot
    Monday April 27, 2009, 2:17 PM


    An apparent organized flexing of Second Amendment rights last weekend was a bit too Wild West for some local citizens and business owners.

    Police and deputies responded to a number of complaints about citizens packing sidearms at restaurants, stores and other public areas.

    None of the gun carriers was cited.

    Michigan's 2001 shall-issue concealed weapons law greatly increased the number of citizens packing handguns. The public, however, does not notice the guns because they are hidden under clothing.

    But a shopper with a handgun on his hip in Target is another matter. Security officers followed the man Saturday and contacted city police.

    "One of our officers had contact with the man in the parking lot, and that was the end of it," Lt. Christopher Simpson said. "He was carrying legally."

    Blackman Township officers responded to reports of a diner with a handgun in a hip holster at Bob Evans Restaurant on West Avenue, and another with a visible sidearm at Wal-Mart on E. Michigan Avenue.

    "We verified they were legitimate side carries," Blackman Township Public Safety Director Jon Johnston said.

    While the appearance of citizens carrying weapons is unsettling to some, it also is an expression of freedom.

    "Sometimes it is a matter of educating the public that this is a constitutional right," Johnston said. "We do not take enforcement action against those who obey the law."

    Sheriff's deputies, meanwhile, were called to Vandercook Lake to check out two suspicious males, each carrying a handgun on his side.

    It was a father and son, and the father also was packing two concealed handguns, sheriff's Capt. Kevin Stellingworth said. The father has a concealed-weapons permit.

    Stellingworth and Undersheriff Thomas Finco said that citizens who exercise the right to carry guns openly should realize it alarms the public and police.

    "It hypes people up to see someone carrying a gun," Finco said. "What people don't realize is it is perfectly legal."

    Aside from designated pistol-free areas, such as schools, bars, stadiums, churches and hospitals, most public and private areas in Michigan are open to both concealed weapons and open sidearms.

    Stellingworth said law officers and business owners cannot become complacent regarding citizens showing weapons.

    Because more citizens are choosing to carry weapons in public, police trainers are addressing that by incorporating scenarios in which officers approach those who could be exercising a right, or are up to no good.


    Gun group targets litter

    By Catherine Kavanaugh, Daily Tribune Staff Writer

    FERNDALE — Lawrence Morton was surprised to see a pistol-packing, cleanup crew bagging litter along Woodward Avenue as he waited Saturday at a bus stop.

    "It doesn't seem like there's a need for it here," the Detroit resident said of the men with firearms in holsters. "No one does that in my neighborhood."

    When asked if he knew of anyone who carried a concealed weapon in his neighborhood, Morton just laughed.

    The 10 members of Michigan Open Carry, Inc., a nonprofit, pro-firearms organization, raised some eyebrows as they tried to raise awareness about the right for anyone age 18 or older to openly carry a legally registered handgun.

    "It's a little known law," Ferndale Lt. Bill Wilson said. "They use it to test rookies. They'll ask: What do you do if you see someone with a six-shooter strapped to his waist. The answer better be nothing or the rookie needs remedial training.

    "If they are not brandishing it in a threatening way or going inside a bar, bank or school, which are some of the prohibitions, they are not breaking any law."

    MOC President Brian Jeffs wore a 9 mm handgun in plain view as he handed out garbage bags in the parking lot of Ferndale Foods.

    "We want to get people used to this," the Bath resident said.

    "We're trying to make Michigan more like Arizona."

    MOC's objectives are to desensitize the public — and some police — about seeing people walking down the streets with guns around their waists; to demonstrate gun owners are lawful and shouldn't be feared; and to protect themselves.

    "It's like wearing a seatbelt or having car insurance," Jeffs said. "It's preventative, it's a precaution and it tends to deter crime."

    Doug Holloway of Westland said he thinks he is safer openly carrying his firearm than someone who has a permit for a concealed weapon.

    "A criminal will go after the softer target with the concealed pistol," he added.

    But Carissa Gaden didn't notice any of the guns strapped around the MOC members as they walked down Nine Mile Road to Woodward. She was out with some students from Ferndale Middle School raising money for the music program. The fundraisers did recall the men donating some pocket change.

    "I noticed their bright safety vests and I thought they were construction workers," Gaden said. "If I had seen their guns it would have freaked me out. Anyone with a gun around my children would make me uncomfortable."

    MOC members often are challenged by people like Gaden when they gather for picnics or community service projects, Jeffs said. He also walks around armed with a brochure called "You can openly carry a handgun in Michigan" to explain the law.

    "Once people learn this is legal they usually are indifferent," Jeffs said. "We've put in thousands of hours of open carry in Michigan to get out the word."

    Police said they didn't get any complaints while the MOC members, who were cleaning sidewalks and medians north to Birmingham, were in Ferndale.

    "I did expect people to call," Wilson said. "It's fairly common in other parts of the country but you don't see it around here. Part of the justification is you are telling everyone I have a gun and I will use it for protection. Right or wrong it makes sense."



    Craig Gaffield/Daily Tribune From left, Mike Bostwick, Zachary Bostwick, Doug Holloway, Savannah Meadows and Dan Meadows of the Michigan Open Carry pro-firearms organization collect and bag litter in Ferndale Saturday.
    Cleanup also to promote right to openly carry firearms.



    CG Festival gun carrier files federal civil suit

    Wed, May 13, 2009

    BY MARK BROOKY
    mbrooky@grandhaventribune.com


    An attorney representing a man who was charged with carrying a gun at last year's Coast Guard Festival in Grand Haven has filed a lawsuit, claiming the incident violated his client's civil rights.

    Steven Dulan filed the civil rights suit in federal court in Grand Rapids on March 5 over the city's open-carry ordinance, according to Justia.com. The suit seeks $600,000.

    Dulan represents Christopher Fetters, a 21-year-old off-duty U.S. Air Force security officer from Freeport who was arrested by Grand Haven Department of Public Safety officers on Aug. 2, 2008, for carrying a Glock 40 handgun in a holster at his side in downtown Grand Haven. Police said they disarmed Fetters, arrested him on a misdemeanor charge, issued a 90-day court appearance ticket and allowed him to leave without the gun.

    While Michigan law allows carrying concealed weapons with a permit, Grand Haven has a local ordinance prohibiting openly possessing and carrying dangerous weapons in public, a GHDPS official said at the time. People carrying weapons can be frightening and the department received several verbal complaints about the man, a department official said.

    However, the city dismissed the charges in late August and the gun was returned to Fetters.

    GHDPS Capt. Rick Yonker said then that it appeared the city ordinance was unenforceable under Michigan law, and the state law regarding openly carrying firearms pre-empts local ordinances.

    "In most cases, a city ordinance can be more restrictive than state law," Yonker said at the time. "But in this case, that does not apply."

    The decision to drop the charge came after research of case law by the city's attorney suggested the ordinance would not hold up in court, Yonker said. The officers acted in good faith and were enforcing the ordinance, Yonker said, but the city decided not to continue with the case.

    "No allegations were ever made that Mr. Fetters ever threatened anyone, or in any other way disturbed the peace on the day of his arrest," Dulan stated in the announcement of the suit on Tuesday. "He is demanding damages for violation of his civil rights as a citizen of the United States and of Michigan."

    The suit names Yonker, GHDPS Director Dennis Edwards, former GHDPS Lt. Mark Reiss, Lt. Mike Brookhouse of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department, the city, the county and its Sheriff's Department, and a couple of "unknown parties" as defendants.

    A message left at Dulan's East Lansing office this morning was not immediately returned. No city officials were available for comment this morning.

    The federal case number is 1:09-CV-00190. It was assigned to Judge Robert H. Bell.

    On the Net:

    http://dockets.justia.com

    http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2009/06/handguncarrying_advocates_plan.html
    Handgun-carrying advocates plan picnic
    by Rex Hall Jr. | Kalamazoo Gazette
    Friday June 05, 2009, 10:32 PM


    KALAMAZOO -- Food and firearms will go hand in hand Sunday at Bronson Park during an afternoon picnic hosted by the pro-Second Amendment group OpenCarry.org.

    The Open Carry Picnic, from 1 to 4 p.m., is meant to teach residents and raise awareness about the legal right to openly carry a handgun in Michigan, said Josh Tishhouse, a member of the national group.


    The event also is in response to three incidents that, according to Tishhouse, have occurred locally in the last six weeks involving members of OpenCarry.org who were detained by either Kalamazoo or Portage police and later released.

    "It's mostly to show we are a nonconfrontational group," he said. "We're just exercising a constitutional right."

    The event will be similar to recent gatherings the group held previously in Ann Arbor and Hastings. The group also hosted a "meet-and-eat" event this year at Theo & Stacy's on South Westnedge Avenue.

    Police don't plan to have officers at the event, but they do plan to monitor it as needed with on-duty personnel, said Capt. Brian Uridge of the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety.

    "From all the information that we have, we believe it is going to be a peaceful event," Uridge said.

    It is legal to openly carry a loaded pistol in Michigan, but a permit is needed to carry a concealed weapon.

    Tishhouse said between 17 and 19 members have confirmed they plan to attend the picnic, and some of them will be traveling from areas of the state that include Ann Arbor and Detroit.

    The event is free and open to the general public and members of OpenCarry.org. Tishhouse said attendees are not required to openly carry a firearm to take part in the picnic.

    Organizers are asking for anyone who comes to the picnic to bring a dish to pass, their own soft drinks and tableware.

    Rex Hall Jr. can be reached at rhall@kalamazoogazette.com or (269) 388-7784.

    Gun owners show support for open-carry law at picnic in Kalamazoo
    by Kathy Jessup | Kalamazoo Gazette
    Monday June 08, 2009, 10:15 AM

    John A. Lacko | Special to the Kalamazoo Gazette
    Rob Grinage and Josh Tishhouse, both of Kalamazoo, work on cooking the hamburgers and hot dogs during the Open Carry Picnic in Bronson Park Sunday afternoon.
    KALAMAZOO -- It resembled most any Sunday afternoon picnic in Bronson Park. Except most of the people assembled around tables filled with watermelon and grilled goodies had firearms in holsters strapped to their waists.
    http://www.opencarry.org.

    For Tishhouse, openly carrying a weapon is a matter of self-defense. But he says Americans also need to exercise their constitutional rights to the lawful ownership of firearms or risk losing them.

    "I hope never, ever to have to draw this," Tishhouse said. "But I absolutely believe it's a deterrent. If somebody's looking for a soft target to mug and they see you have a weapon, they're not likely to pick you."

    According to Michigan Open Carry, any resident 18 or older who owns a legally registered handgun may openly carry that firearm in a holster.

    The fact that the handgun is registered means the owner has passed a criminal background check. And many Open Carry members also have permits for concealed weapons that they say required additional scrutiny.

    There are restrictions if you do not have a concealed-carry permit. Tishhouse said it's unlawful to possess a firearm in a bank, church, theater, sports arena, day-care center, hospital or any establishment licensed to sell liquor. Property owners also can impose their own firearms restrictions.

    The purpose of the event was to educate the public about openly carrying firearms within the State of Michigan.
    Ryan Ransom, a Coloma High School automotive technology teacher, said people who open-carry their handguns often are assumed to be off-duty police officers.

    And although Ransom said he has never been confronted by a civilian for wearing his 9 mm pistol, some police officers have been unaware of the laws that allow it and have questioned him.

    Stephanie Grinage says people in their Edison neighborhood refer to her husband, Robert, as "Wyatt Earp," an iconic 1800s Western lawman. Robert often walks their dog with his holstered firearm in full view.

    The owner of a neighborhood convenience store refers to the pair as "my friends," she explained, after a "shady" man eyeing the cash register left the establishment one day when the openly armed Grinages stopped to make a purchase.

    Stephanie Grinage has a concealed weapons permit that allows her to keep her Smith & Wesson .38 Special tucked in her purse.

    "The weight of a gun around my waist pulls my pants down," she mused.

    For the young housewife who is often home alone, her gun is about protection.

    "I don't want to feel powerless," said Grinage, who still suffers from the scars of a physical assault when she was 18. "I want to be able to protect myself and not worry about the cops showing up too late."

    People milling around at Sunday's event said they're not all the stereotypical conservatives criticized by Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign for "clinging" to their guns.

    "I don't identify myself as a Democrat or a Republican," Tishhouse said. "I consider myself a constitutionalist.

    "If you want to know the truth, I voted for Obama."


    Getting the word out


    By MICHAEL PETERSON Argus-Press Staff Writer
    Tuesday, June 16, 2009 10:40 AM EDT


    Argus-Press Photo by Anthony Cepak

    Members of the group Michigan Open Carry, Inc. gather at Collamer Park in Owosso for a picnic Sunday to generate awareness in the community about Michigan concealed weapons laws and the Second Amendment.


    OWOSSO - It may not be a well-known fact, but it is legal to openly carry a handgun in Michigan - and members of a newly-formed organization are hoping to get the word out.

    Michigan Open Carry, Inc. held a picnic at noon Sunday in Collamer Park, during which members offered not only food, but information regarding their organization and the state's firearm laws.

    “We just want to get the word out about open carry and that it is legal,” MOP President Brian Jeffs, of Bath, said. “For us, open carry is like a ‘Beware of Dog' sign in our front yard. It shows that we are a hard target.”

    He explained while it is legal to openly carry, there are still some restrictions. For one, the gun needs to be in a pouch if it is not going to be concealed. Also, not having a concealed-pistol license can restrict the type of areas a person can go while brandishing a firearm - such as a bank, court, theater, hospital, church or any establishment that sells liquor.

    While the nonprofit group was officially formed in April, the first seeds were planted when Jeffs and others began frequenting http://www.opencarry.org, an Internet forum created by Virginia gun-rights activitists to educate people on Second Amendment rights.

    So when he and a handful of others created the group, they wanted to help spread the word on a state level. However, they also wanted the activism to be non-confrontational - hence, the picnics.

    Sunday's picnic was no different than any other typical picnic - excluding the fact that many attending had firearms attached to their hips. There were fishing and hot dogs, and open carry information was available to anyone who wanted it.

    “People come, get information and go. Or they will have something to eat and talk a little bit with us to see that we are not all crazies,” Jeffs said.

    Secretary Christina Florence of Frankenmuth said the key to understanding open carrying is to educate people about it. And she should know - she used to hate the idea of guns.

    “I never grew up with guns, so it was a scary thing at first,” Florence said. “And also having a daughter around made it a little more intimidating. But now that I am more educated about it, I have no problem with it.”

    Another roadblock for the group has been the realization some municipalities have laws in direct violation of open carry.

    “The state has ruled that local municipalities cannot enforce gun-control laws that are more restrictive than the state's,” Jeffs said. “A lot of municipalities have these laws in their books, but they are not enforceable.”

    Because of this, MOP has been contacting those cities to make them aware of the violations.

    Owosso resident Nathan Spencer said it was curiosity that brought him out to the picnic, but added he already knew Michigan's open carry laws.

    “I've been carrying a gun for 60 years - concealed and open,” Spencer said.

    He added he thought what the group was doing was a good thing, because he has seen a noticeable change in attitudes toward firearms in recent years.

    “A lot of people are afraid if they carry in public that the cops are going to harass or bother them,” he said.



    An Amazon best seller "MY PARENTS OPEN CARRY" http://www.myparentsopencarry.com/

    *The information contained above is not meant to be legal advice, but is solely intended as a starting point for further research. These are my opinions, if you have further questions it is advisable to seek out an attorney that is well versed in firearm law.

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    http://www.record-eagle.com/local/lo...176070026.html

    Gun-toting picnic coming to TC

    By Sheri McWhirter smcwhirter@record-eagle.com


    TRAVERSE CITY -- Gun advocates have Traverse City in their cross hairs.

    A nonprofit group called Michigan Open Carry, Inc., on Saturday will host a gun-toting picnic at Sunset Park along East Front Street, an effort leaders said is intended to promote the legal, open carry of firearms and the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment.

    Scott Sieffert owns the Discerning Shootist store on Woodmere Avenue in Traverse City and is helping to promote the event and cause.

    He is a firearms safety and concealed pistol license instructor.

    "A lot of it is based upon a person's rights in Michigan. It's to let people know they can openly carry a gun on their person," Sieffert said. "Guns aren't evil. They are no more evil than tools like a drill or a chain saw or an automobile. It's how you use it."

    That means participants will be walking around with pistols in hip holsters in a public park. Not everyone thinks it's a bang-up idea.

    The event may raise apprehension, particularly among those who may not be aware of the event, said Deni Scrudato, a Traverse City commissioner.

    "What will people think if they've driven by and seen a bunch of people openly carrying guns? People will be concerned," she said.

    Scrudato understands the gathering is legal, but she questions whether the picnic is little more than a chance for participants to "show off" their gun ownership.

    She's not alone in her worries.

    "I find it a little disturbing," said Virgilene Warren, who lives a few blocks from the park. "It sounds like something that shouldn't be in a neighborhood. I really don't think it's appropriate."

    Warren said she has no qualms about gun ownership, but is scared by the notion of firearms carried in a park where neighborhood children play.

    "It may cause concern for some," but not everyone, said Fred Wilmeth, president of Traverse City's Oak Park Neighborhood Association.

    Reactions will depend on where people stand on firearms laws, he said.

    Wilmeth doesn't own a gun, but isn't opposed to those who do, he said.

    The picnic is not designed to intimidate, but spread awareness of Michigan's open carry law, as well as increase interest and donations for next year's planned "Second Amendment March" in Washington, D.C., said Brian Jeffs, president of Michigan Open Carry.

    "It's a group of pro-gun people who promote the open carry of a handgun, which is legal in Michigan. A lot of people don't realize that, even those in law enforcement," Jeffs said.

    Traverse City Police Chief Michael Warren knows the law and is prepared for concerned calls from passersby on Saturday.

    "It's 100 percent legal as long as the gun is properly registered and openly displayed," Warren said. "We'll have adequate staff on in case there are any issues, but we are not anticipating any."

    Michigan law allows the open carry of pistols in a hip holster, so long as the weapon is not brandished, or waved menacingly.

    Emergency services dispatchers are trained to explain the legality of the situation to worried 911 callers, Warren said.

    "I'm sure we'll probably get a couple calls on it," he said.

    City commissioners in March changed an ordinance that previously prevented firearms possession in city parks. The local law contradicted state law and had to be repealed, said R. Ben Bifoss, city manager.

    It's unknown how many people will show for the event, although such gatherings tend to attract between 30 and 150 people, Jeffs said.

    The picnic is scheduled from 12 to 4 p.m. on Saturday.


    Pistol-packing picnic to promote open carry right
    The Oxford Leader
    CJ Carnacchio editor.

    July 15, 2009 - Time to go over the ol' picnic checklist.

    Potato salad and coleslaw – check.
    Hot dogs and hamburgers – check.
    Pistol and holster – check.

    That last item may sound a bit odd, but not if you're planning to attend the Open Carry Picnic scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2 at Seymour Lake Township Park in Oxford.

    Picnic attendees are invited to openly carry their handguns, in holsters, during this event designed to help build public awareness about a little known legal right.

    Any Michigan resident who's at least 18 years old and owns a legally registered handgun may openly carry it in a holster, with or without a concealed pistol license, in all places not explicitly exempt by law.

    "There's still plenty of people out there that aren't aware of the legality of it," said Oxford resident John Roshek, who's organizing the local picnic. "You don't necessarily have to have a concealed pistol license to be able to protect yourself."

    Roshek, 29, is a member of Michigan Open Carry (
    http://www.miopencarry.org), a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to educate and desensitize the public and law enforcement community about the legality of openly carrying a handgun, and demonstrate to them they have nothing to fear from the lawful carry of a firearm.

    "We're a real non-confrontational group," he said. "We're not trying to go out and ruffle any feathers."

    Roshek's hoping the picnic will draw all types of people from responsible gun owners to non-gun owners with questions and concerns.

    "Everybody's welcome to just show up," he said. "I hope all your readers come out and check it out, whether they're for it or against it. Engage in some conversation to find out a little bit more and educate yourself. All the members are more than willing to answer any questions."

    Parks Director Ron Davis said he wasn't aware of the picnic, but has no problem with it being held at a township park.

    "Our doors are open to everybody," he said. "I don't have an issue with it."

    Davis noted he has his concealed pistol license. "I'm an outdoorsman, a hunter and fisherman, and it's our right to bear arms," he said.

    Food and nonalcoholic beverages will be provided, but "anyone that comes is welcome to bring whatever they would like." "If they want to volunteer to bring something, they can," he said.

    It should be noted alcoholic beverages are not permitted in Seymour Lake Park.
    Roshek stressed that despite the picnic's name, "open carry is not required" for the event.

    "You can concealed carry (if you have a permit). You don't even have to carry at all," he said. For Roshek, carrying his Glock 23 pistol is as natural as carrying his wallet or car keys. "I do carry 100 percent of the time," he said. "I open carry I'd say 90 percent of the time. I have my concealed pistol license as well, but mostly I open carry."

    Self-defense is Roshek's main motivation to pack a pistol whenever he leaves the house. "I'm not looking to make any political statements, nothing of that sort. I'm not looking to gain attention or cause panic," he explained. "It's really just about being able to protect myself and my family. I don't consider myself a paranoid person. I've just lived long enough to know what the world is like."

    He's by no means anxious to use his gun. Personally, he's never had to shoot anyone "and I hope that I never do." "I think most responsible gun owners feel the same way – they wish they never have to use it in defense of themself or someone else," Roshek said. "But if that situation ever arose, I know that I would be willing to do what I had to do to protect myself."

    Roshek believes allowing people to carry firearms helps reduce the crime rate. "When you look at statistics and FBI crime reports, crime rates are generally lower in those areas where lawful carry of a handgun is prevalent," he said. "It speaks to the fact that the criminals are looking for the softer targets. They're looking for the people that aren't carrying guns, that aren't able to defend themselves, rather than risk confrontation."

    Negative perceptions of guns and gun owners are fueled by a lack of personal experience and misinformation in Roshek's opinion. "I think when a lot of people have objections to guns or carrying guns or seeing guns, it's just based out of fear and conjecture rather than based in fact," he said. "People are generally going to have a fear of guns, whether they weren't raised around them or because of shootings on the news and (reports of) crime rates."

    Roshek wants more people to understand that "lawful gun owners aren't out to cause trouble." "We're not generally the type of people that fly off the handle," he explained. "We're not out there waving our guns around. We're just lawful citizens. We're not criminals." Aside of self-defense, Roshek's open carry of a handgun also helps him educate others from time to time.

    "Occasionally, I'll be in the store and someone might ask me if I'm a cop. I tell them no (and that) sparks a conversation about open carry. So, it helps to raise awareness." Roshek's never had any negative reactions to his open carry from those he's encountered.

    "I've never sent anybody screaming for the hills, running, saying, 'There's a man with a gun!' That's never happened," he said. "Most of the time people are so wrapped up in their own activities, they don't even notice." Roshek's hoping the Aug. 2 picnic will help dispel some of the myths people have about guns and their owners. "One of the things we always like to say is come out to the picnic and see what doesn't happen."


    The Oxford Leader: Opinions
    My Way
    Praise the Lord and pass the ammo

    CJ Carnacchio, editor.


    July 15, 2009 Guns have always been a part of my life.

    When I was little, I played with toy guns almost everyday until I graduated to a Daisy BB gun. I never did put my eye out or anyone else's.

    Being an avid hunter, my dad always had shotguns, rifles and handguns around the house. They were always locked up and I knew not to touch.

    When I was 12 years old, I got my first shotgun, a 20-gauge single shot for hunting pheasant and rabbits. I still have that gun. You never forget your first.

    A few years ago, I bought my first rifle as I took up deer hunting – a right of passage every red-blooded Michigan male should try at least once.

    I'm thinking about my lifelong love of firearms this week because of the front-page story I wrote about the Open Carry Picnic to be held at Seymour Lake Township Park on Sunday, Aug. 2.

    I'm sure some hysterical people out there will panic when they read the article and start calling the parks and recreation department to voice their shock and outrage.

    But the bottom line is there's absolutely nothing wrong with a group of law-abiding, responsible gun owners gathering in a public park for a picnic while openly wearing their legally-registered side arms.

    I highly doubt they're going to start shooting at the Kids Kingdom play structure like Pancho Villa gone mad.

    I was extremely impressed by the picnic's organizer, 29-year-old Oxford resident John Roshek.

    During my interview with him, he was eloquent, passionate, rational and sincere about protecting and promoting his legal right to openly carry a handgun.

    He was the exact opposite of how liberal anti-gun nuts try to falsely portray the majority of honest firearms owners in this country.

    People who hate guns and think no one should own them are by and large an ignorant group of folks.

    They judge all firearms and their owners by the bad things that bad people do with guns.

    They ignore the fact that every single day millions upon millions of decent, responsible gun owners don't commit any crimes or kill any innocent people.

    Instead, they focus on the minority responsible for all the violent acts we see splashed across the TV news.

    In most cases, these criminals obtained their guns through a variety of illegal means, ranging from theft to black market sales to dishonest dealers.

    The anti-gun lobby's basic premise that guns are evil is preposterous. On their own, guns are neither good nor bad. Guns are simply objects, tools to be used for various tasks and activities.

    How a gun is used can be judged good or bad. The person using the gun can be judged good or bad.

    But the gun itself is a morally neutral thing.

    As a nation founded by gun-owning individuals, we should have more respect for firearms and the important role they've played and still play in our lives.

    Let us not forget that it was the gun – combined with the bravery of the man pulling the trigger – that ultimately won us our freedom from Great Britain.

    Our Declaration of Independence would have been just flowery words written on a piece of parchment had it not been backed up by the blast of a Minute Man's musket.

    http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2009/07/picnic_event_teaches_public_ab.html

    Picnic event teaches public about right to carry firearms
    by Holly Klaft | Jackson Citizen Patriot
    Sunday July 19, 2009, 8:07 PM



    Firearms aren't something you would expect to find at family-friendly get-togethers on a Sunday afternoon. Especially not among the water works and playground equipment of one of Jackson's recreational gems.

    But about 20 gun owners brought their weapons to a picnic at Sparks Foundation County Park to flex their Second Amendment rights and to educate people about the ability to openly carry guns in Michigan.

    With handguns holstered at their hips, attendees gathered around a picnic table near the falls to talk and munch on hot dogs, cookies and potato salad.

    "Not everyone that carries a handgun is a bad guy," said Gordon Cannon of Jackson, who is a member of Michigan Open Carry, a nonprofit group that has been holding "open carry" picnics throughout the state.

    Cannon said some people may feel nervous when they see the group assembled with firearms at their sides, but they shouldn't think of them as outlaws.

    "We're not out there as criminals," said Cannon, who helped organize the event. "People think of the Wild West when they see holstered handguns. They should be thinking it's just a bunch of law-abiding citizens walking around exercising their Second Amendment rights."

    Brian Jeffs, president of Michigan Open Carry, said he hoped the social event would create more awareness about Second Amendment rights and the ability to openly carry guns in Michigan. The group also is helping to plan a Second Amendment march on April 19, 2010, in Washington, D.C.

    Anyone at least 18 years old who owns a legally registered handgun may carry it visibly holstered in most public places. However, guns cannot be openly carried into churches, courthouses, theaters, sports arenas, day-care centers or establishments that sell alcohol.

    Exposed weapons usually will draw the attention of the public and police.

    County Sheriff Dan Heyns said his office was aware of the event but wouldn't interfere unless attendees broke the law. "Our approach to this is we're just observing and making sure they're abiding by the law," Heyns said. "They won't get a response from us unless they stretch the statute." He said other "open carry" events have been held in Jackson without incident. An "open carry" lunch also was held at a Bob Evans restaurant this spring.

    The group's presence at the park Sunday didn't cause much of a stir but made some nervous. "It's kind of intimidating," said Ashley Simpson, 18, of Summit Township, who was working nearby at the Cascades Ice Cream Co. "It seems like it would lead to more violence if people knew they could openly carry a gun."

    Jeffs said people shouldn't feel afraid. "We're trying to educate," Jeffs said. "Citizens have nothing to fear. If they see someone openly carrying, they can be 99.9 percent sure they're lawful. Our people have caused no trouble and have broken no laws."


    Michael J. Metts | Jackson Citizen PatriotFrom left, Robin and Walter Whitaker of Vandercook Lake open a package of hot dogs during a Second Amendment "open carry" picnic at Sparks Foundation County park.



    Pistol-packing picnic taking place in Oxford
    Thursday, July 30, 2009
    By KAREN WORKMAN
    of The Oakland Press



    The Oakland Press/JOSE JUAREZ John Roshek has his firearm secured in a holster as he stands near a picnic pavilion area at Seymour Lake Park in Oxford Township.

    People from across the state are expected to gather for a family-friendly picnic at Oxford Township’s Seymour Lake Park on Sunday, Aug. 2.

    “It’s a regular family picnic, the only difference is the people there will be armed,” said John Roshek, an Oxford resident who helped organize the picnic. Roshek is a member of Michigan Open Carry, a nonprofit organization that tries to raise awareness of a Michigan law that allows people to openly carry handguns without a special permit.

    “You don’t necessarily have to have a concealed pistol license,” Roshek said. “As long as the pistol is legally registered to you and you’re over the age of 18, you can lawfully open carry a pistol in Michigan.” He added: “Some restrictions do apply.”

    To open carry a handgun means it has to be in plain sight on the person carrying it. Roshek and others at Sunday’s picnic will have their pistols in holsters attached outside their clothes. Several restrictions, such as places where open carry is not allowed or specific guidelines for traveling with the gun in a vehicle, do apply under the law.

    Roshek encourages all people to stop by the picnic, saying it is not limited to the group’s members. “The more, the merrier,” Roshek said. “Everyone is welcome to attend, whether you’re for or against it, whether you openly carry, concealed carry or don’t even carry a gun.”

    Since the purpose of the pistol-packing picnic is to raise awareness of the law, the group will have informational packets available for anyone who wants to learn more. “We’re trying to get people to understand what your rights are,” Roshek said. “It’s a little known fact that it is legal to openly carry a handgun without a permit. “Even a lot of municipalities are not aware either.”

    Roshek said Oxford Township had an ordinance prohibiting firearms in their parks, but that it is unenforceable because of the state law. “They have since said they are going to change that to comply with Michigan’s law,” Roshek said.

    The potluck-style picnic will be held at a picnic area in the township’s park, near children’s attractions like the new K.L.R. Splashpad and Kid’s Kingdom playground. “At some of the past events, some members have brought their children, sometimes they don’t,” said Roshek, who doesn’t have children.

    Roshek said the event is entirely safe. Alcohol is not allowed at the park and neither is any shooting. “Nobody even takes their pistol out of their holster,” Roshek said.

    About 50 of the 500 members of Michigan Open Carry are expected to attend the picnic, which starts at 1 p.m. An avid supporter of constitutional rights, Roshek said he respects the opinion of people who don’t support gun ownership because he firmly believes in free speech. “But whether you’re for or against it, just come out, find out more about it and see for yourself,” Roshek said.

    While he understands why some people may have concerns about the picnic, he says there have never been any problems at any of the group’s events, from picnics to roadside cleanups. “We’re all extremely cautious with the law,” Roshek said. “We’re law-abiding citizens and we’re not out to cause trouble.” Those planning to attend the picnic are encouraged to bring a dish to pass.



    Op-Ed: Put stories back into storytelling


    By DOUG STANTON
    Special to the Record-Eagle


    The Traverse City National Writers Series and Book Festival was founded in hopes that people -- you and me and our neighbors -- would become as passionate about literature as we have lately become about politics and breaking news. Sometime in the last decade, during the divisive presidential election of 2000 and today, artists, and in this instance I mean specifically writers (and more importantly storytellers), began to give ground to politicians, pundits and purveyors of "reality," in film, TV, or the Internet.

    Our pop culture became more declarative rather than imaginative, more judgmental than empathic, more political than creative. We are poorer for this, socially, artistically. We turned politics into popular entertainment, and we made pundits, activists and politicians our most-listened-to storytellers.

    But partisan political arguments are, by definition, oppositional and single-minded. In short, they are not like life at all. A plainly partisan "political" book or movie is to the world of literature what the amoeba is to the orchid.

    Imagine if John Steinbeck had set out not to write a novel called "The Grapes of Wrath," but had chronicled in purely argumentative terms the "good guys" and the "bad guys" in that wrenching story of the Great Depression -- we wouldn't be talking about "The Grapes of Wrath today." In Steinbeck's hands, the characters are complex -- there are dashes of humanity in the worst of the people. What Steinbeck created was a vicarious experience as rich and contradictory as life.

    On a blog, or on the radio, or in a movie, when we read or hear a rant, a screed, a finger-pointing work whose purpose is to shame and damn, we may get angry, and we may argue at dinner parties, but such work is generally meant to confirm what its audience already suspects.

    The system is broken! No, the system is perfect! No one has moved from their positions. A work of storytelling makes the impossible seem possible, it makes us live in realities people may not like. But we survive, and are changed in the process. Arguments can become insights.

    In "Slum Dog Millionaire," the movie, there's a scene in which a little boy jumps into an outhouse sewer in order to escape it and rush to meet a movie star who's standing nearby. When the boy bursts to the surface smiling, no other image is needed to convey the power of that boy's belief in a better future, in the idea of upward mobility. No amount of documented arguing about the injustices of life in a slum in India would have as much power. Imagine if Mark Twain had argued only in declarative, political and purely judgmental fashion that slavery was immoral, and that he had not written "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."

    This is to say that nonfiction, in the hands of people like Tom Wolfe, Gay Talese and Joan Didion, also packs the life-changing power of Steinbeck, Faulkner, or Virginia Woolf. Story is not solely found in fiction. No one has argued and proselytized about life in the 1970s like Joan Didion, but like Wolfe and Talese, she disappears from the story. These people do not appear on their books' covers. They stay out of the way and let it rip. They are storytellers, not debaters trying to prove a point.

    I remember when people fought over novels, journalism, movies -- stories about which no easy conclusions might be drawn. This is to say that I remember when people argued not about other people's arguments, but about other people's stories.

    I remember in graduate school when two classmates argued about the novelist Upton Sinclair. "I like him," said one guy. "I think he's lousy," said the other. And the fan of Upton Sinclair defended the author's honor by punching the other guy. I saw him fly past the kitchen doorway and heard him land out of sight. I asked someone I was with, "What's that all about?" "Oh, they're just arguing Upton Sinclair."

    Really? I haven't seen that kind of brio at dinner parties except when ladled as an attack on talk radio (liberal or conservative); books and writers (liberal or conservative), and politicians. So many of the books these people write, in both camps, are really printed television, their entertainment value residing in the showmanship surrounding their publication. A politician obtains only the power people give him. The artist has no power at all, except what Time might bestow.

    I was reminded of this recently when a group of gun owners had a picnic in a park in Traverse City -- while wearing their loaded guns in holsters. Immediately, the finger-wagging machine, on both the left and right, labeled these people as an unfit image of this fair, midwestern city. There was a sense that everyone just wished these people would go away -- or, better yet, that they could be made to go away by some dint of law, or zoning, or super-shaming.

    Over time, these protesters in the park had been listening to their storytellers on the radio, in blogs, or in books, who had harped that their government might take away their guns.

    No one asked: "Who are they? What do they want?" Which are questions I would guess a journalist like Tom Wolfe would ask, or a filmmaker like Martin Scorcese, or a short-story writer like Annie Proulx. They would approach these people as stories to be told, not arguments to be won.

    And this would have made for some interesting stories.

    Doug Stanton, a life-long Traverse City resident, is the author of the New York Times best-sellers "In Harm's Way" and "Horse Soldiers." He and Traverse City writer and attorney Grant Parsons recently founded the Traverse City National Writer Series and Book Festival, a yearly festival of writers, story-telling, and books.



    By ANN ZANIEWSKI
    Of The Oakland Press 8/3/09



    The Oakland Press/ANN ZANIEWSKI Garry Lynn of Leonard; Lauren Brundage, 8, of Clarkston; Hallie Vawter, 10, of Oxford; and Emma Vawter, 7, of Oxford; watch a German Shepherd and a puppy play together at the Michigan Open Carry picnic Sunday at Seymour Lake Park in Oxford Township.

    OXFORD TWP. – With hamburgers sizzling on the grill and people relaxing in lawn chairs, it was pretty much like any other picnic — except that most attendees had a gun on their hip.

    Members and supporters of Michigan Open Carry gathered Sunday in Oxford Township’s Seymour Lake Park to socialize and raise awareness of the ability of adults to lawfully carry holstered handguns in the open without a special permit.

    “The Second Amendment is very important to me because it protects all my other rights,” said John Roshek, an Oxford Township resident who helped organize the picnic. “I want everyone to know that you don’t need a concealed weapons permit to protect your family.” Roshek is the southeast regional coordinator for Michigan Open Carry, a nonprofit organization that aims to educate and desensitize people about the open carrying of firearms. With some restrictions, any law-abiding person who is 18 or older can carry a legally registered, holstered firearm in plain sight.

    Roshek said the potluck picnic was very well-received. About 150 people dropped by throughout the day, he said. While most attendees brought a gun, shooting wasn’t allowed. Alcohol was also banned.

    “We have a little slogan: ‘Come out and see what doesn’t happen,’” Roshek said. “It’s just a lot of regular folks out having a picnic.”

    Steve Coon of Farmington Hills flipped burgers and hot dogs at the grill as his son, 7-year-old Lucas, looked on. Coon said he came to the picnic to show his support of self-protection, and with hopes that his son “learns to be more comfortable about firearms.”

    Craig Miller of Ortonville said he wanted to be up-to-date on various gun laws. He also wanted to show support for the Second Amendment, which protects the right of people to bear arms. Miller said some people carry the misconception that gun owners “are all crazy,” but they are really just like everyone else. “I volunteer for churches. I’ve got two kids, and I’ve got no criminal record,” Miller said.

    A Holly resident named Julia, who didn’t want to give her last name, had a pin on her shirt that said “Gun control is murder.” She wore a Lady Smith & Wesson .38 caliber gun on her hip that she said she has for personal protection. “I think an armed public is safer than an unarmed public,” she said. “If they take away our guns, only criminals will have them.”

    Roshek said he wants people to know that if they come across a person openly carrying a holstered firearm, there’s nothing to worry about. “They don’t have anything to fear. We’re non-confrontational. We don’t want to cause any problems,” he said.

    Michigan Open Carry will host another potluck picnic at noon Sunday, Aug. 9 at River Woods Park, 202 N. Squirrel Road in Auburn Hills.
    An Amazon best seller "MY PARENTS OPEN CARRY" http://www.myparentsopencarry.com/

    *The information contained above is not meant to be legal advice, but is solely intended as a starting point for further research. These are my opinions, if you have further questions it is advisable to seek out an attorney that is well versed in firearm law.

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    dropped in Coast Guard Fest gun case
    Wed, Aug 27, 2008

    digg_skin = 'compact';



    to del.icio.us
    BY BRIAN KEILEN
    bkeilen@grandhaventribune.com



    Grand Haven is dismissing charges against a man accused of carrying a gun downtown during this summer's Coast Guard Festival.

    The 21-year-old Freeport man was arrested under a city ordinance that prohibits possessing and carrying firearms and dangerous weapons in public — but it appears that ordinance is unenforceable under Michigan law, said Capt. Rick Yonker of the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety.

    "In most cases, a city ordinance can be more restrictive than state law," Yonker said. "But in this case, that does not apply."

    It appears state statute regarding openly carrying firearms pre-empts local ordinances, he said. The charges will be dismissed without prejudice and arrangements are being made for the man to get his gun back, Yonker said.

    The decision to drop the charge came after research of case law by the city's attorney suggested the ordinance would not hold up in court, Yonker said.

    The officers acted in good faith and were enforcing the ordinance, Yonker said, but the city decided not to continue with the case.

    "We found it was in the best interest of the city to dismiss this case," he said.

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    http://www.grandhaventribune.com/pai...6549320470.bsp

    City had no choice on gun issue
    Thu, Aug 28, 2008

    It's understandable as to why the city of Grand Haven backed down and dismissed charges against a man accused of carrying a weapon during this summer's Coast Guard Festival.
    City officials discovered that Grand Haven's ordinance that prohibits possessing and carrying firearms in public is unenforceable.
    A 21-year-old Freeport man was accused of carrying a gun during the Coast Guard Festival.
    The charges will be dismissed without prejudice and arrangements are being made for the man to get his gun back, according to Grand Haven Department of Public Safety Capt. Rich Yonker.
    Grand Haven officials were made aware that the state statute regarding openly carrying firearms pre-empts local ordinances.
    A group that monitors conflicts between local and the state law alerted Grand Haven officials of the possible violation.
    Yonker told the Tribune that the decision to drop the charges came after research of case law by the city's attorney.
    That brings up the question as to how the local ordinance got passed in the first place, or stayed on the books, if there were questions about its legality. Will the ordinance now be repealed?
    As far as the man being within his rights to carry a weapon downtown during the Coast Guard Festival, it raises questions as to why anyone would need to carry a weapon during a family orientated festival.
    The law states that a man or woman can't carry a concealed weapon in a school zone, be under the influence or be drinking while carrying a firearm.
    We see why the city had no recourse but to drop the charges. Still, it is worrisome that a person can walk on our downtown streets with a gun.
    Those who advocate carrying guns can complain all they want, but that doesn't defuse the potential for a tragedy.

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    Do cops carry guns down town?

    "why anyone would need to carry a weapon during a family orientated festival."

    Were there police at the festival? If so, why the need?

    Stupid people shouldn't breed.

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    How many "family oriented" sleep time has been interupted by a burglar or rapist? How many "family oriented" evening TV watching sessions have been disrupted by some outside criminal? How many "family oriented" car trips have been subjected to hijacking or being accosted if their car happens to break down? How many "Family oriented" walks along roads AND in public parks have resulted in rapes, murders, robberys by the criminals?

    Who is this guy? He can say what he want's because he's exercising "his" rights. Let us also be allowed to exercise "OUR" same rights.





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    THE OXFORD LEADER

    Opinions
    Letter to the Editor
    What a great day, park for a picnic
    August 05, 2009


    Dear Editor,

    A great day for a picnic, and a great turnout.

    I would like to thank all the great people who came out to support lawful open carry at the picnic on August 2nd. People of all ages, male and female came out Sunday to learn and show their support. All in all there were probably over 150 people. We enjoyed the company of friends from South Lyon and Lansing, to right here in Oxford. There was great weather, even better food and nothing but positive feedback from everyone in attendance. In fact it went over so well that we even ran out of food!

    Anyone who came out would tell you that at Sunday's picnic there were some of the nicest people that you would ever meet. I had the pleasure of talking with just about everyone there and I am grateful that I had the opportunity. A few of the parents who brought their children enjoyed the splash pad and many commented on how nice the park was, a tribute to the folks and Oxford Parks and Rec. There were also many others at the park that day who seemed to enjoy themselves and were having fun with their activities, a few even came over to say hi.

    Several people came up to me and asked when the next picnic would be, and that we should do this more often. Well, given how much everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, that's not a bad idea.

    Thank you again to all the people that made for a safe, enjoyable time, and especially to everyone who contributed food!

    John Roshek
    Oxford




    THE OXFORD LEADER

    Pistol-packin' mamas, papas, aunts and uncles

    Pistols in holsters were seen throughout the open-carry picnic.


    by John Remillard

    August 05, 2009 - This past Sunday was a good day for a picnic and for packin' heat. About 150 people from across the state came to Oxford Township's Seymour Lake Township Park in support of Michigan open-carry gun rights -- it is lawful to carry a legally registered pistol, as long as it's holstered and not concealed. There were plenty of smiles to go around, but reports are food ran short!



    Firearm fans plan picnic

    Thursday, August 13, 2009
    By Frank DeFrank, Macomb Daily Staff Writer

    Picnic supply list: charcoal and lighter fluid, check.
    burgers and 'dogs, check.
    .45-caliber pistol and holster, check.

    Firearms could be as plentiful as fixin's Saturday when Michigan Open Carry holds a picnic at Macomb Corners Park in Macomb Township. Michigan Open Carry is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the legal right to carry handguns. On its Web site, the organization outlines its objectives:

    To educate and desensitize the public and members of the law enforcement community about the legality of the open carry of a handgun in public.

    To exercise a natural right to self defense using the most efficient and common tool, a handgun.

    To demonstrate to the public at large that gun owners are one of the most lawful segments of society and they have nothing to fear from the lawful carry of a firearm.

    To protect our right to self-defense.

    Periodically, the group holds events to draw attention to its efforts.

    "Basically, the objective is to raise awareness … (and) to help educate the public and raise awareness regarding lawful open carry of a firearm in Michigan," said John Roshek, Southeast Regional Coordinator of Michigan Open Carry.

    Under Michigan law, handgun owners can carry their weapons openly provided the guns are in plain view, properly holstered and the owners adhere to other restrictions. They are not required to secure permits.

    That's exactly what many of those who will participate in Saturday's picnic intend to do. Roshek said the organization boasts about 520 members and he hopes a big chunk of the membership turns out Saturday.

    But carrying a firearm is not a prerequisite to attending the picnic. In fact, Roshek said, organizers hope other unarmed folks stop by for a burger and conversation. That just might dispel some myths about firearm aficionados, he said. "There's never been anybody who ran away from us," he quipped. "Generally, it (opposition) is based on fear, it's not based on fact." Roshek acknowledged some might be a little intimidated to share the picnic grounds with a group whose members strap side arms on their hips.

    On a few occasions, police have been summoned, including once when law enforcement authorities brought a special mobile command unit in response to a complaint. "I think they wasted a lot of taxpayers' dollars (to investigate) some guys with their wives and kids grilling some burgers," Roshek said.

    Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel said the Michigan Open Carry members are within their rights to hold a picnic in a public park, even with handguns resting against their sides. "They're correct in their interpretation of the law," the sheriff said. "They pretty much know the rules." Hackel said his department has no reason to provide additional police presence.

    The Michigan Open Carry picnic will be held beginning at noon at Macomb Corners Park, located on the north side of 25 Mile Road just west of Broughton Road, Macomb Township. For more information about the group, visit its Web site at http://www.miopencarry.org.

    Law backs right of gun group to hold picnic

    Friday, August 14, 2009
    By Frank DeFrank, Macomb Daily Staff Writer

    A Macomb Township ordinance that bans firearms in public parks caused a bit of a stir Thursday and briefly threatened a public picnic planned by a gun-rights group. But after consultations among a representative of Michigan Open Carry, township lawyers and officials and Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel, the picnic at Macomb Corners Park will proceed as planned Saturday.

    "They're good to go," said Mark Grabow, Macomb Township supervisor.

    The controversy centered on the township ordinance and a state law. Township officials initially cited their ordinance as the prevailing law, which likely would have resulted either in cancellation of the picnic or the specter of deputy sheriffs writing tickets to all who attended. But John Roshek, Southeast Regional Coordinator of Michigan Open Carry, brought to the attention of local officials a Michigan law that pre-empts local governments from imposing restrictions on firearm possession. The law is based on a 2003 case involving the city of Ferndale decided by the Michigan Court of Appeals.

    After a flurry of telephone calls and discussions among the principals, Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel delivered the final verdict late Thursday afternoon. "They (Michigan Open Carry) are right," the sheriff said. "The group … can carry their guns."

    Roshek was confident the state law would prevail, but he said he was pleased the confusion could be resolved in a civil manner. "We're a non-confrontational group," Roshek said. "We're not out to cause any problems." Roshek also said the uncertainty of public officials underscores the reason his group holds events like the picnic: to educate the public about Michigan gun laws.

    "This is a perfect example," he said. Grabow said township officials will revisit the ordinance and make any changes necessary to comply with the law. "We'll rectify it so we're in compliance with the court of appeals ruling," Grabow said. Michigan Open Carry will begin its picnic at noon.

    Pro-gun group organizes food drive at Walmart in Jackson
    By Jackson Citizen Patriot staff



    November 02, 2009, 11:57PMMichigan Open Carry Inc., a nonprofit pro-firearm organization, is conducting a nonperishable food drive at Walmart this weekend.

    The organization has had several events across the state to promote the lawful carry of firearms for personal defense. Members will be lawfully open-carrying handguns while they collect donations, and a representative will be on hand to answer questions.

    The food drive is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the parking lot of Walmart, 1700 W. Michigan Ave. All food collected will be donated to the Jackson Interfaith Shelter.


    Nov. 7 - Handgun discussion. In God We Trust M/C, a Christian motorcycle club hosts a luncheon from noon to 3 p.m. at 131 N. Grand Ave. in Fowlerville. Guest speaker will be Brian Jeffs, President of Michigan Open Carry Inc. (MOC), a non-profit organization that promotes the lawful carry of a handgun. Jeffs will also speak about the Second Amendment March that is planned for April 19, 2010 in Washington D.C. A lunch will be available along with items for sale to raise money for all three organizations. Admission is a non-perishable food item for an area food bank. Visit http://www.miopencarry.org and http://www.secondamendmentmarch.com for more information.


    http://www.livingstondaily.com/article/20091106/NEWS01/911060320/News+Briefs+++Open+carry++law+luncheon+planned

    Livingston Daily-November 6th, 2009

    Anyone interested in learning about the "open carry" law for handguns is encouraged to attend a luncheon Saturday. In God We Trust M/C, a Christian motorcycle club, is hosting a luncheon featuring Brian Jeffs, president of Michigan Open Carry Inc., a nonprofit organization that promotes the lawful carrying of a handgun.

    The luncheon is set for noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at 131 N. Grand Ave. in Fowlerville.Jeffs will speak about the law covering open carry of handguns and will also talk about a Second Amendment march planned for April 19 in Washington, D.C.

    Jeffs contends that it is legal in Michigan for a citizen, over 18, to carry a handgun openly if the gun is registered in that person's name. He said the state Legislature passed a preemption bill in 1990 that blocks local governments from passing more restrictive gun laws than the state government has passed. Jeffs said the law does prohibit the open carrying of guns in a number of types of facilities, including but not limited to stores that sell alcohol, banks, courts and day cares.

    Michigan Open Carry, based in Bath, north of Lansing, states as one of its objectives that the group hopes "to educate and desensitize the public and members of the law enforcement community about the legality of the open carry of a handgun in public."Jeffs said a law enforcement officer will be on hand Saturday to further explain the legalities of open carry. Attendees at the luncheon are asked to donate nonperishable food items for donations to an area food bank. For more information about Michigan Open Carry, go to
    http://www.michiganopencarry.org.


    Group aims to spread word on gun rights
    Daily Press & Argus reporter Lisa Roose-Church


    A Melvindale man, who openly carried a gun into Fairlane Mall in Dearborn while shopping for socks, was stopped at gunpoint by police after leaving a parking space.

    An Ohio man was ordered at gunpoint to lie on the ground in July after someone called 911 to report that he was walking down the street with a handgun, which was holstered. One of the responding officers told him, "You cannot just walk down the street with a weapon."

    The Constitution says otherwise.

    "If one chooses to carry a weapon in Michigan, one can do so without a license," Brian Jeffs, president of Michigan Open Carry Inc., said. "There's no law that says it's illegal."

    Livingston County Prosecutor David Morse agreed, saying, "You're granted the right through the Constitution."

    Michigan Open Carry, a nonprofit organization that promotes the lawful carrying of a handgun, recently participated in a luncheon sponsored by the Christian motorcycle club In God We Trust M/C in the hopes of educating the public about openly carrying handguns. It's a movement that has grown nationwide since 2004, Jeffs said.

    However, there are numerous incidents — some of which have led to lawsuits — in which police officers and the general public misunderstand or just plain don't know about the right to carry a weapon openly.

    Any law-abiding citizen of Michigan who can legally possess a firearm may openly carry that firearm in a holster in all places not explicitly exempt by law without a concealed pistol license. Those exempt places — where weapons cannot be carried — include banks, churches, courts, theaters, sports arenas, day-care centers, hospitals and establishments under the Liquor Control Act, which would include bars and stores that sell alcohol.

    A person may not, however, brandish the weapon. A Michigan attorney general opinion from 2002 states that to brandish is to "waive or flourish menacingly" or "to display ostentatiously." A person also may not openly carry a weapon in a vehicle unless that individual has a concealed pistol license.

    Yet, some individuals who lawfully open carry a firearm find themselves tangling with law enforcement.

    Melvindale resident Andrew Szerdi V, who had a .45-caliber handgun holstered on his right thigh, had finished shopping for socks at Fairlane Mall in Dearborn when a police officer stopped him and two friends from leaving the parking lot.

    "It was the first time an officer had drawn a weapon on me, but not the first time I'd been harassed by police," said Szerdi, who has a concealed pistol license and has openly carried it for about a year. "He ordered the passenger, me, to open the door, step out and keep my hands in view. ... He told me to walk backward to him. He had me get on my knees, place my hands behind my back, and he handcuffed me."

    Szerdi said the officer then removed his gun and searched his pockets, finding his pamphlet explaining the open-carry right. He said for the next 40 minutes or so, he and his friends, who were not carrying weapons, were berated and lectured while officers ran the serial number on his gun, his driver's license and his concealed pistol's license.

    Szerdi was eventually released, he said, after the officers could not find a reason to arrest him.

    "You don't get scared seeing a man walk around with a tool belt with hammers and screwdrivers," Szerdi said. "A gun doesn't jump out of the holster and start shooting. It's a conscious choice. ... I don't mind an officer asking me questions, but I have a problem with them demanding I cooperate or show identification. This is not Soviet Russia. We do not need walking papers."

    In Ohio, Joseph Ponikvar Jr. brought a federal lawsuit against the city of Cleveland and the Cleveland Heights Police Department as well as city officials and police officers for false imprisonment, battery and violation of his civil rights after officers detained him in July when a 911 caller reported seeing Ponikvar walking down a street with a handgun, which was holstered.

    Throughout the incident, which Ponikvar caught on videotape and was posted to YouTube, Ponikvar told the officers that he was not breaking the law. He accused the officers of false arrest, but the officers told him he was only being "detained." However, when Ponikvar asked if he was free to go, one officer told him, "No."

    When a female officer arrived on scene, Ponikvar tried to tell her that they needed a "reasonable suspicion" he was doing wrong to stop him.

    The officer responded: "We do have reasonable suspicion, so settle down, OK? We know the law just like you think you do. Settle down. Exercise your right to remain silent is what you need to do."

    The officer further explained that police did not know him, and they were trying to investigate "if you're OK to have a weapon." When Ponikvar explained that Ohio law does not require him to have a permit to walk down the street with a gun, the officer replied: "You cannot just walk down the street with a weapon, I'm sorry."

    That attitude is exactly why Michigan Open Carry exists, Jeffs said. The group is trying to educate and desensitize the public and law enforcement about the legality of the right to openly carry a handgun in Michigan.

    In Livingston County, neither Morse nor Undersheriff Michael Murphy could recall an incident where an officer harassed or questioned a person exercising his or her right to openly carry a gun. They agree that local officers understand the law in that regard.

    Murphy said as an officer he has no problem with individuals exercising their right to openly carry a gun. However, he believes doing so should be a concern for everyone in the community.

    "Everyone should be concerned for reasons such as, you don't know if they are mental or have ill intent," he explained.

    Jason Baker, co-owner of MICPL.net, which is a Howell-based business providing defensive firearms instruction, said if he sees individuals walking down the street with a firearm on their hip, he assumes they are law-abiding citizens.

    "Criminals are more than likely to try to hide it than carry it openly, because they don't want to take a chance of getting stopped," he said.

    Proponents of open carry say their weapon is merely protection.

    "I think it's a deterrent," Jeffs said. "People see it and are less likely to pick you out for a crime."

    Contact Daily Press & Argus reporter Lisa Roose-Church at (517) 552-2846 or at
    lrchurch@gannett.com

    http://www.livingstondaily.com/artic...e=nletter-news


    The right to bear arms issue raised in Algonac
    Published: Tuesday, December 22, 2009

    By Jeri Packer, Voice Staff Writer
    Part one of an occasional series

    Scott Webb showed up at the Dec. 15 Algonac City Council meeting with a gun.

    It was perfectly legal.

    Webb had a semi-automatic 40-caliber pistol lawfully holstered at his side, while he addressed the council regarding the state gun law.

    He resides in Clinton Township, but said he has friends in Algonac and frequents the city parks often during summer events. He said one of his friends discovered an ordinance on Algonac's books banning citizens from carrying guns, including concealed weapons.

    "My friend said, 'I didn't think they could do that,'" said Webb, who carries his gun openly and also has a concealed gun license.

    His friend was right, he said, referring to MCL 123.1102, passed in 1990, that prohibits local municipalities from enacting and enforcing local ordinances for gun-free zones that trump state law.

    "It's a pre-emptive law," he said. "No local unit of government can restrict a person's rights if it conflicts with state law. The law in Algonac affects everyone's rights to carry a firearm."

    Though he hasn't been approached about his gun in Algonac, Webb said he has in other cities during the four to five years he's been exercising his Second Amendment right to bear arms.

    Algonac Councilman Gary Tuzinowski said he was familiar with the state statute pre-empting the local ordinance regarding guns in certain public areas.

    "It goes back many years and falls into other relic laws like, you can't feed your horse on Sundays," he said. "I don't like the fact that (a gun) is in your face, but the law is the law. I don't see a problem with the attorney going over it."

    Tuzinowski cited an instance when a citizen openly carrying a gun attended a city council meeting in Ferndale. The man's right to carry was questioned and an attempt to enforce a local ordinance banning guns from the meeting was attempted, he said.

    "It was turned down," he said. "You have no right to regulate where guns are used in public, when they follow the (state) law. Of course, you can't threaten anyone with it or use it (inappropriately)."

    Memphis Police Chief Elena Danishevskaya said there is no local ordinance banning legal firearms in her rural community. She said many people are not aware of the open carry law in Michigan and are concerned at the sight of a weapon displayed in public.

    "The general public gets nervous for a reason," she said. "A lot of things have happened throughout the country, like the rash of shootings in churches and schools, but these people aren't law-abiding citizens."

    She said citizens in Memphis are welcome to carry a gun in public, provided they follow state guidelines, but asks them to be mindful of the fears of others.

    "If people want to exercise their right, let them to do so, but please think of the citizens that get nervous when they see a gun in the open," she said. "And realize there may be some misunderstanding. A person might get nervous if they are a shop-owner."

    Webb agrees that some people do get edgy at the sight of his Smith and Wesson, but said they wouldn't worry if they knew the screening process a gun-toter goes through for the right to carry a gun.

    "We come under more scrutiny than the average law-abiding citizen to prove our right to carry a firearm in public legally," he said.

    Webb is a member of the Michigan Open Carry, Inc., a non-profit organization that educates the public on gun ownership.

    "I've been around firearms pretty much all my life," he said. "Michigan Open Carry provides education for everyone. The laws can be very confusing."

    Part of those laws includes the proper protocol for carrying a gun in public, which includes keeping it holstered at all times.

    "Unless I have to use it," he added, but also said it is something he hopes he will never have to do.

    "It's a tool I carry with me," he said. "I hope I will never need to use it, but when I am in public, no one can guarantee a crime is not going to happen."

    Coming next: The pros and cons of carrying a gun.
    Contact Jeri Packer at (586) 716-8100, ext. 302 or










    An Amazon best seller "MY PARENTS OPEN CARRY" http://www.myparentsopencarry.com/

    *The information contained above is not meant to be legal advice, but is solely intended as a starting point for further research. These are my opinions, if you have further questions it is advisable to seek out an attorney that is well versed in firearm law.

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    Article published at MonroeNews.com on Sep 15, 2008
    County could face possible lawsuit

    Exeter Township resident Jan Jay says he seriously is considering filing suit against Monroe County for several issues that he says are violating the Constitution.

    Mr. Jay last week renewed several of his concerns regarding the Monroe County Board of Commissioners holding meetings in places other than Monroe. He also brought up new concerns over how the public must pass through metal detectors and by security guards to enter the courthouse. He says that provision of a judge's order goes too far - a claim disputed by Monroe County Chief Circuit Judge Joseph A. Costello Jr., who says his opinion is supported by the Michigan Supreme Court.

    "I plan on doing it (filing a suit) Monday (today) or Tuesday if they don't come up with an answer," he said last week. "They've had enough time.

    "I'm serious about this. It's an issue that needs to be addressed."

    The county board met for regular meetings in Frenchtown and Bedford townships earlier this year. Mr. Jay contends that the board's bylaws clearly state the exact time, date and location of each meeting. The bylaws do not mention meetings in locales other than the courthouse. What's more, he says, the state's Open Meetings Act makes provisions for a public body to meet outside of the county seat for special meetings, town hall meetings or informal meetings. Regular meetings that have actual business conducted, however, must be done in the county seat, he says.

    Mr. Jay, a former police officer, cites several examples, attorney rulings and court documents and presented those findings to the board.

    Board Chairman William Sisk says he intends to give the county's attorneys up to a week to answer Mr. Jay's concern - and plans to make those opinions public - but says he doesn't feel the county has violated any law.

    "I told Mr. Jay, ‘You've had weeks to prepare this ... and you spring it on us.' I'm going to give our attorney seven days. I'm not going to shoot from the hip on this," Mr. Sisk said.

    Mr. Sisk said he feels the county has been okay in staging board meetings in various locations as a way to bring the county government closer to the citizens.

    "He's got every right in the world to file a suit," Mr. Sisk said. "I just don't think he's right."

    As for the courthouse entry system, Mr. Jay says he has found legal opinions in other counties that says access can be restricted to courtrooms and judges can make certain no one has a weapon entering a courtroom. However, that same restriction is not intended for people entering other courthouse offices, such as the clerk's office.

    Judge Costello said a local court order issued in 2001 states in the first paragraph that "No weapons are allowed in the courthouse." He cited a Michigan Supreme Court ruling that allows such rules to be enacted.

    After the 38th Circuit Court issued the order that disallowed weapons from the entire courthouse, it was supported in writing by the Michigan Supreme Court. Judge Costello said Wednesday that based on the Supreme Court's own administrative order and its support of the local ruling, he believes the Monroe courts are legally allowed to ban all weapons from the entire courthouse, not just courtrooms.

    "Pursuant to the local administrative order and approved by the Michigan Supreme Court, no weapons are allowed in the courthouse," he said.

    In June, a Hillsdale County judge ordered a no-guns sign removed from its courthouse, according to a story in the Jackson Citizen-Patriot. Circuit Court Judge Michael Smith told the newspaper that courthouses were not exempt from a state law involving carrying concealed-weapons and lifted the ban as long as people were properly licensed.

    But Judge Costello said that anything a judge does in another county does not necessarily apply to Monroe or any other Michigan county.

    "Whatever happened in Hillsdale does not apply to any other county, including Monroe," Judge Costello said.

    The county board began discussing courthouse security years ago, and a plan was approved in 1995 to close off all but one entrance to the courthouse. It wasn't until 2001, however, that the full security measures were implemented, including installing the metal detector at the entry of the courthouse and hiring security guards.

    [line]
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    view all local news then lawsuit


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    http://www.mlive.com/annarbornews/news/index.ssf/2008/10/attendees_at_ann_arbor_picnic.html
    Attendees at Ann Arbor picnic pack more than their lunches
    by Tom Gantert | The Ann Arbor News
    Monday October 13, 2008, 7:11 AM
    Eliyahu Gurfinkel | The Ann Arbor NewsRandy Graham of Burton tends to the grill while wearing his Glock handgun at a picnic at Wheeler Park in Ann Arbor on Sunday afternoon. The picnic was hosted by proponents of the open carrying of firearms.
    In many ways, it was a typical picnic on a beautiful Sunday in an Ann Arbor park - hot dogs, potato chips and hamburgers.

    Except for the fact it was BYOG.

    That's BYOG as in bring your own gun.

    For Julian Lizzio, a 21-year-old University of Michigan student, that meant packing a nickel-plated Colt .38-caliber pistol.

    Lizzio helped organize a rally for about 50 people at Wheeler Park at Sunday at 1 p.m. in favor of exercising their legal right to openly wear a firearm in public. About 20 people wore weapons in holsters. In Michigan, it's legal to carry a loaded pistol openly, but a concealed weapons permit is needed to carry a gun that's hidden.

    Eliyahu Gurfinkel | Ann Arbor NewsJulian Lizzio, a University of Michigan senior, talks to a reporter during a picnic at Ann Arbor 's Wheeler Park that he helped organize to promote the open carrying of handguns.
    "When people say, 'Why do you carry a gun?' I'm a little speechless," Lizzio said. "Why wouldn't you?"

    Sgt. Ed Stuck said Ann Arbor police received one call Sunday from a citizen reporting there were people in Wheeler Park with guns.

    Stuck said the city attorney's office ruled that it is legal to have a weapon in a holster in the open. Many of the advocates Sunday refused to take their weapon out of their holster when asked.

    "The only time you draw that weapon out in public is if you use it," said Brian Jeffs of Bath. "That's why you won't see anyone handling their gun."

    Doug Holloway made the trip to Wheeler Park from his home in Westland. Most of the people who attended were members of the OpenCarry.org, a national organization formed in 2004, to promote the right to carry a gun in the open.

    Holloway said he carries his Sig Sauer 4SW handgun for protection.

    When asked when he felt threatened enough to need a gun, Holloway said last winter when a man was "aggressively" approaching him outside a party store.

    "He asked me for change and he kept getting closer and closer," said Holloway, who was unarmed at the time. "He had his hands down by his side. I just told him to back up and stay away. He backed up."

    Holloway said if he had been openly carrying his handgun, the man never would have approached him.

    Lizzio said he was caught weaponless two years ago in Ann Arbor when he was chased by a drunken homeless person waving a broken bottle.

    "Muggers can say, 'This looks a little riskier than I would like,'" he said.

    Lizzio says he does not carry his gun to school, but feels his group would win in court if he challenged U-M over its ban on carrying weapons.

    Jeffs has been a regular at the gun picnics since they started in Brighton last December. He said four people showed up openly armed at the McDonalds in Brighton and "never had a problem."

    But the open gun advocates have their tales of harassment.

    Jeffs said he was kicked out of Barnes and Noble in East Lansing on Saturday for openly carrying his .357 Magnum revolver at a Ted Nugent book signing. Jeffs said he demanded a refund for Nugent's book.

    Jeffs said he thinks he could go his whole life without needing a firearm for protection. He carries it because it is his right. "I'm sick and tired of being told what to do by a police state," Jeffs said.

    Sometimes it is the police. Other times, it is just business owners, as Lizzio found out Sunday before the picnic.

    Lizzio went into Main Street Party Store to buy items for the picnic wearing his gun on his hip.

    The manager told him not to do it anymore.

    Dave Breher, manager at Main Street Party Store, said he'd rather give up the money if an armed robber came into the store than risk a gunfight happening in his store.
    "It makes me uncomfortable," Breher said. "Why would anyone carry a firearm except to use it?"

    "But you got to remember," Lizzio said. "No guns. No money. ... And I spend a lot of money there." When Breher was told he could lose a gun-toting customer, he said, "That's fine."

    Tom Gantert can be reached at tgantert@annarbornews.com or 734-994-6701.

  10. #10
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    Here is the article:

    http://www.wzzm13.com/news/news_stor...0&catid=14

    Carrying a gun openly is legal in Michigan.

    Battle Creek Enquirer

    1/19/10

    BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (Battle Creek Enquirer) - Wearing a tan shirt, jeans, cowboy boots and a 9mm handgun, Steve Koch walked into a Battle Creek restaurant Monday afternoon.

    "I openly carry a gun because I can and because I should," Koch, 47, of Battle Creek said. "Why should everyone have insurance on their house or on their car. Just in case."

    Koch is among a growing number of people in Michigan and across the country who openly carry guns without violating any law.

    "As long as you are able and not a criminal, you should be allowed to open carry," he said. "And I am one who believes if we have a right and don't exercise them they will go away."

    A long time gun owner, Koch, an equipment operator, said he and his wife, Melody, who both hold concealed weapons permits, learned about open carry three years ago and now are part of a movement to educate the public about the practice.

    "We are trying to slowly desensitize the public, to take away the mystic and the falacies" he said. "A man with a gun does not mean a bad man, it just means a man with a gun."

    Koch said he openly carries a handgun about four days a week and is one of maybe six Battle Creek residents who strap on a handgun when going out in public to protect themselves.

    But as the practice grows, police in the greater Battle Creek area are trying to determine how to respond to people who openly carry handguns.

    "This is not a change in the law, but a growing trend," said Battle Creek Police Department Commander James Saylor. "There have been some encounters."

    Saylor said Koch who was wearing a handgun was questioned Sept. 7 when he joined a group in downtown's Friendship Park for the Tea Party Express. Police also questioned a man who entered an Emmett Township store with a handgun holstered on his hip and another man walking down a street in the Post Addition with a shotgun over his shoulder.

    No one was charged because Michigan law does not prevent people over 18 who do not have a felony record from carrying a gun in the open -- as long as they don't try to enter certain gun-free locations like a church, day care center, bank or court, Saylor said.

    Brian G. Jeffs, of Bath, president of Michigan Open Carry, a nonprofit organization formed in March 2009, said the number of people carrying weapons is growing.

    Jeffs said the organization has 85 members and he estimates between 200 and 300 people regularly openly carry weapons in public and several hundred others do so occasionally.

    "People are starting to realize it is legal," he said. "It brings gun ownership out of the closet. Criminals tend to conceal their weapons and good guys openly carry."

    Jeffs, 52, a senior geologist for the state of Michigan, said his group provides information about the law and the practice on its Web site,
    http://www.michiganopencarry.org, or a national website, http://www.opencarry.org and also holds events to educate the public about open carry. He said that education includes police departments.

    "We don't expect it to get popular, but we want people to know it's legal. Law enforcement doesn't like (open carry) because they are afraid it will scare people," Jeffs said. "But very rarely do people even notice or call the police."

    Koch said he has openly carried his weapon all over the state and was only approached by a police officer at Friendship Park for the Tea Party Express and by business owners twice. In both cases he was not asked to leave the store.

    Saylor said the city attorney has met with all his officers to discuss the law and the proper response to a call to 911 about an open carry.

    He expects those 911 calls from residents who might notice someone with a gun.

    "It's more threatening to them," Saylor said. "They don't know what is going to happen. Is it a hold-up or a shooting? It can give a heightened sense of paranoia when they see a firearm on someone's side."

    Saylor said because open carry is rare, he expects officers will be dispatched to investigate when a resident calls.

    "Sometimes people are carrying and don't understand the ramifications of what they are doing," he said. "They believe it is self protection, but they have to balance that with the community, which may not understand. There has to be a certain level of sensitivity. When most people see firearms, it doesn't conjure up positive thoughts. And they don't go unnoticed. We get calls."

    Saylor and others in law enforcement said when police are called about open carry, officers likely will attempt to question them.

    "We have not had any actual incidents in the county," said Capt. Matt Saxton of the Calhoun County Sheriff Department. "We have talked about it, but not had any formal training. But we likely will check them out because we don't know what their intent is, and we don't see open carry too often in Michigan."

    "If we get a call, we would respond," said Rob Coles, Springfield's public safety director. "Police officers would be curious about what is going on, but we have to be careful that you don't violate anyone's rights. We can ask to talk to the guy, but we can't force them to stop."

    Prosecutor Susan Mladenoff said the issue has been discussed in her office, "but it's not illegal to open carry. Nothing has crossed my desk. I have seen it in surrounding counties and I am not surprised to see it here."

    Joel Fulton, owner of Southside Sportsman Club, a gun shop at 539 Capital Ave. S.W., has a motto: "An armed society is a polite society." He said while he supports the right to open carry, he, like Jeffs, encourages gun owners to obtain a concealed pistol license.

    "Some people are trying to desensitize the public to not think it's a bad guy carrying a gun, but in Michigan open carry is not as socially acceptable," Fulton said. "I don't advocate for open carry and I don't have anything against the group, who are trying to make it more socially acceptable, but if you open carry, you have to be prepared to deal with the police when they arrive. They have to respond and you are going to be viewed with suspicion. You may have the right to do it, but it is not always the right thing to do."

    Fulton, who sometimes open carries, said he usually carries his handgun concealed so that criminals do not target him and he can respond if a criminal uses a gun.

    "Having it concealed gives me an element of surprise," Fulton said.

    Jeffs, while encouraging people to apply for concealed weapons permit and to take firearms training, said openly carrying a gun can prevent an attack too.

    He said he is not aware of any person wearing a gun who was targeted by a criminal or who had his or her weapon taken.

    "When criminals target someone and see they have a gun, they turn around," Jeffs said. "If they are walking down the street and they see someone with a gun, they leave. It's like a 'beware of the dog' sign. They go on to the other guy."

    Koch said his decision to open carry is about defending himself if necessary.

    "When seconds matter, a police officer is just minutes away," he said.

    Trace Christenson can be reached at 966-0685 or
    tchrist@battlecr.gannett.com.



    Battle Creek, MI NEWS CHANNEL 3 1/20/10) – After President Barack Obama won the election, gun sales went up.

    The FBI says that in the three months following the election, the number of background checks to buy weapons increased by more than one million from the year before.

    Reports say some stores are having trouble keeping up with demands, running out of both guns and ammo.

    The right to carry weapons is part of an ongoing nationwide debate, and that debate is picking up in West Michigan.

    People across the state are carrying guns out in the open, legally.

    "I'm doing nothing different than a guy wearing a purple shirt on a Tuesday," said Steve Koch.

    Koch, of Battle Creek, has openly carried a firearm for three years. Koch is a card carrying member of Open Carry Michigan, and just one of a growing number of Michigan residents who are taking advantage of a two decade old state law that says residents are free to carry guns in the open.

    "I've always believed in the constitution and the right to defend yourself," said Koch.

    The Battle Creek Police says that as the number of residents taking advantage of that law increases, there is a possibility that it will put the department in a tight situation.

    "It catches us in a difficult bind," said Chief David Heading of the Battle Creek Police. "We understand the right to carry, but want the public's safety at the same time."

    Chief Heading says he understands the open carry law, but fears that those who are utilizing the law are testing the department's limits.

    "It's a difficult position," said Chief Heading, "they have to expect if we get a call, they will probably be somewhat detained and inquire about their intent."

    Koch says he has every intention of continuing to carry his gun out in the open.

    "You can either protect yourself or be victimized," said Koch. "There is no common ground.

    We want to hear from you. What do you think about current open carry laws? Do you think restrictions on guns should be tightened or loosened?


    An Amazon best seller "MY PARENTS OPEN CARRY" http://www.myparentsopencarry.com/

    *The information contained above is not meant to be legal advice, but is solely intended as a starting point for further research. These are my opinions, if you have further questions it is advisable to seek out an attorney that is well versed in firearm law.

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  12. #12
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    taxwhat wrote:






    October 15, 2008
    In many US airports, guns are OK outside security
    By SHANNON McCAFFREY
    Associated Press Writer
    Link?



  13. #13
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    Mike wrote:
    taxwhat wrote:







    October 15, 2008
    In many US airports, guns are OK outside security
    By SHANNON McCAFFREY
    Associated Press Writer
    Link?

    http://license.icopyright.net/user/v...x_id=D93R5DU04

  14. #14
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    Duplicate post. Sorry.

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    oppps!!! Triplicate post.

  16. #16
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    broken link, here is one that works.. nice story including a quote by a local guy.

    "We like our guns in Michigan," said Scott Wintner, a spokesman for Detroit Metro Airport.

    http://www.eturbonews.com/5621/many-...tside-security

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    My name is Adam Sells and I was wondering if there was any members that around the Macomb twp area that would like to help put on a openCarry meating. You can call me at 1-586-231-0508 or send me an email to asells01@yahoo.com.

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    Regular Member FatboyCykes's Avatar
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    Welcome Adam, to OCDO. Not sure why you chose this thread, to post in, start a new topic or post in a relevent one. Again, welcome!

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    The word is out....let's hope for a large turn out to support it.



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    Front Page!!!! Owosso Independent News





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    http://www.wilx.com/home/misc/49085476.html

    Picnic With A Bang Save Email Print

    Posted: 8:18 AM Jun 25, 2009
    Last Updated: 8:18 AM Jun 25, 2009
    Reporter: AP
    A | A | A
    Gun advocates have a bang-up idea for a picnic in Traverse City.

    A group called Michigan Open Carry Inc. plans to host a gun-toting picnic at Sunset Park on Saturday.

    It's part of the nonprofit's ongoing effort to promote the legal, open carry of firearms and the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

    Picnic attendees will walk around with pistols in hip holsters in a public park.

    Not everyone is thrilled with the idea.

    Virgilene Warren lives a few blocks from the park. She tells the Traverse City Record-Eagle she finds the picnic to be "a little disturbing."

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    http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/20253681/detail.html

    Pistol-Packing Picnic In Oakland CountyPicnic To Raise Awareness About Right To Carry Arms Without PermitPOSTED: Sunday, August 2, 2009UPDATED: 7:32 am EDT August 2, 2009


    AP
    OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- [/b]Organizers of a gathering in a Detroit suburb want picnickers to bring a dish to share and carry a handgun in plain view.The Sunday afternoon picnic at Seymour Lake Park in Oxford Township, about 30 miles north-northwest of Detroit, is to raise awareness of a Michigan law allowing registered gun owners to openly carry handguns without a special permit.Alcohol and shooting won't be allowed at the potluck.Members of Michigan Open Carry, said the gathering is a regular family picnic, the only difference is the people there will be armed.
    Answer every question about open carry in Michigan you ever had with one convenient and free book- http://libertyisforeveryone.com/open-carry-resources/

    The complete and utter truth can be challenged from every direction and it will always hold up. Accordingly there are few greater displays of illegitimacy than to attempt to impede free thought and communication.

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