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Thread: Law backs right of gun group to hold picnic

  1. #1
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    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.

  2. #2
    Michigan Moderator DrTodd's Avatar
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    Good job, John. It is disheartening that with all of the packets and letters that have been sent out, the Michigan Municipal League's publications, and newspaper articles we are still dealing with the issue. This is why I think that my hope that these get-togethers eventually become more about socializing than anything else really is no-where close to being the case. Keep up the good work!!
    Giving up our liberties for safety is the one sure way to let the violent among us win.

    "Though defensive violence will always be a 'sad necessity' in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men." -Saint Augustine

    Disclaimer I am not a lawyer! Please do not consider anything you read from me to be legal advice.

  3. #3
    Regular Member FatboyCykes's Avatar
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    Now if we could only find that law....

  4. #4
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    wrcken2 wrote:
    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.
    Link?? Link?? Please ALWAYS post links.

  5. #5
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    Mike wrote:
    wrcken2 wrote:
    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.
    Link??** Link??* Please ALWAYS post links.
    http://www.macombdaily.com/articles/...0006114137.txt

    Google is your friend.

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