By Ann Zaniewski
For The Macomb Daily
Earlier this year, deputies stopped Amir Hudson’s vehicle and found a handgun under his front seat. They also found a loaded, semiautomatic AK-47 in his trunk.
Hudson was charged with two weapons offenses, but his attorney argued in court filings that they should be dismissed because they violate his constitutional rights. Prosecutors disagreed.
The case is another recent example of issues involving guns and gun rights being in the public eye.
In the summer, gun advocates crowded Royal Oak City Commission meetings to protest a clause in a contract that banned guns from the Arts, Beats & Eats festival. They were successful, though city leaders are now trying to get state law changed to restrict guns at next year’s festival.
Ben Shattuck, a Pontiac resident and member of a group called Michigan Open Carry, said he thinks guns and gun ownership have been hot topics lately because more people are carrying firearms for self-protection from crime in an uncertain economy.......
With guns holstered on their hips, people who support Michigan’s open carry gun laws flooded Royal Oak City Commission meetings late in the summer to voice their concerns over the city’s agreement with Arts, Beats & Eats organizers. The contract prohibited firearms from the festival premises.
To the delight of gun advocates, Royal Oak officials ended up amending the festival agreement to take out the firearms clause. Festival organizers reported record attendance and no major problems at the Labor Day weekend festival.
At a mid-September City Commission meeting following the festival, officials adopted a resolution asking lawmakers to amend state law to prohibit the possession of firearms by members of the general public at festivals where large crowds of people are present in close proximity, where alcohol is served and where entertainment is offered for people of all ages.
“I think generally, everybody on the City Commission respects the rights an individual has to posses firearms and carry firearms,” Royal Oak City Attorney Dave Gillam said. “At the same time, those rights are not unlimited under state law as it exists right now.
“Everyone feels on the commission there is really not a need for people to carry firearms into Arts, Beats & Eats. It’s a safe venue. We have adequate police presence.”
Scott Webb, the president of Michigan Open Carry, said he doesn’t understand the logic behind Royal Oak officials trying to ban firearms from future festivals when this year’s event went off without a hitch.