I'm brand new here... this is my first post, in fact. Let me begin by saying that I'm a HUGE civil rights fan and a believer in openly carrying. I do it quite often, in fact. Almost every time I leave the house, my pistol I wear my pistol strong side. If my shirt or coat covers it, great. If not, oh well. I don't worry about printing or whether or not my weapon shows... because I know my rights.
This being said, I feel compelled to play the devils advocate on some of the cases I've been reading about folks being kicked out of stores for openly carrying. It's pretty simple: The premises may be open to the public, but they have the right to refuse service to anyone (NOT TRUE SOME ARE PROTECTED BY LAW, like race religion, etc.).
If they don't want visible weapons on their premises, they can simply refuse you service and ask you to leave. If you refuse to leave, then you are trespassing. It's a fundamentally similar concept to going to a party at a private residence in that the party may be open to anyone to "come as they are", but the homeowner could easily ask you to leave if they didn't want you carrying an open weapon in their house. Conceal Carry, however, is a different story. If the homeowner never knows you have a weapon, then they are none-the-wiser. Same with store owners.
and municipal properties, however, I believe are different stories. As entities funded by taxpayers, I believe they should be held to the laws of the land in ways that private property owners may not necessarily be obliged to follow. This means I support the open carrying in municipal buildings (WHICH IS ALLOWED BY THE 1990 PREEMPTION LAW.)
But as far as private property is concerned, I believe in the civil liberties of the property owners/managers/fiduciaries/etc to exercise their own sovereign rights to choose who has access to their grounds. If they choose to discriminate based on you openly carrying; that is their right. A store owner can say "No open carry in my store" just as legally as a bigot can say "No black people in my house". It may be morally wrong, but it is within the realm of their legal right to assert such. This being said, you have rights too... you have the right to choose to shop somewhere else. You have the right to do what you're doing by campaigning to corporate. But remember, not everyone is as "aware" as many of us OC'ers
are... so I'm beseeching you folks to please pick and choose your battles wisely. If someone makes a big stink and starts talking legal action about something, when they're not real clear on the law themselves, it gives those close-minded bigots fuel to continue fighting us.
I open carry quite often. I don't draw attention to myself... I don't argue with anyone... I simply go about my business
as if there were no firearm on my hip. Most people probably assume I'm plain-clothes law enforcement or something. I've had a handful of people ask me if I was a cop... my answer was simply "No" and I went about my business. A few of those handful pointed at my sidearm and asked why I was carrying it. Simply, my answer is "Because it can't do me any good sitting in my closet at home." A few have tried to engage me in debate, but I don't entertain them. The bottom line is that I know the law and I know my rights... end of story. I don't need to prove that to some idiot on the street who wants to question me. This includes cops, by the way. I have not yet been stopped by an officer; but if I ever am, my demeanor would not change. When stopped (walking, not driving), I am required (NOT IN MICHIGAN, you don't have to answer any questions or show ID.)
to give my name, address, and date of birth... nothing more. I'm not even required to furnish ID or proof that I have a CPL (because open carrying does not require a CPL). Unless I'm being investigated for a crime, an officer has no other cause to question or detain me beyond gathering my name, date of birth, and address. Period. If they claim that they're "investigating" a call about "someone with a gun"; I would remind them that the State AG, as well as the MSP, have published very clear opinions as to the legality of openly carrying... then immediately ask for the officer to call a supervisor. Make no mistake that EVERY SINGLE OFFICER IN MICHIGAN (This is definitely not true. Many LEO's done know it's legal or think it is brandishing, I mean even CPL instructors say that.)
who has been on the job longer than a few weeks KNOWS that open carry is legal. It has been published in police newsletters to compel them not to harrass citizens who OC. Why? Because if a citizen has the guts to openly carry, then they know their rights and likewise have the guts to assert them. This means lawsuits and bad publicity for municpalities.
I read on another thread somewhere (I can't find it now) where several people bantered back and forth about needing to have a CPL in order to open carry in a Meijer. This is untrue. (THIS IS TRUE, STATE LAW LISTS PLACES YOU CAN NOT POSSESS A FIREARM and any place that has a liquor license is on that list.)
You NEVER need a CPL to open carry anywhere (Again not true.).
However, if you're going to open carry, it really behooves you to have a CPL because of all the little techncal crap the police can smack you with. For instance, if you don't have a CPL, but you are exercising your CONSTITUTIONAL right to openly carry... you can be charged with felony concealment if the wind blows your shirt and causes it to slightly conceal your weapon. Or the second you enter a vehicle, you go from "open carry" to "conceal carry" and without a CPL, you've just committed a felony. But to simply open carry in a store does NOT require a CPL.
I can go on for hours about this subject... believe me. I honestly enjoy helping people better understand their rights and how lmisinterpreting laws can adversely afffect them. So please... take nothing that I've said as insulting towards anyone here. I don't know how much you folks do or don't know... I haven't scrubbed all the threads (Ah that explains a lot. Do spend some time on the info thread and see what we advise, I think we cover most of the base very well.).
I just managed to stumble on this site while researching information about another state for a friend and ran across a couple conversations that appeared to be propogating common misunerstandings about open/conceal carry laws.
Glad this site exists though... it's good to have a forum to promote awareness. :-)