Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Open carry walk sparks 9-1-1 calls, but no arrests

From Michigan:
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,"
[Public Safety Director] Johnston said. "We do not take enforcement action against those who obey the law." [emphasis added] ...

Article here. Good to see the Public Safety Director Johnson is supportive of citizens' constitutionally-protected right to bear arms. Indeed, he is correct that we need to educate the general public that open carry by their fellow law-abiding citizens is both legal and not a cause for concern. Having peaceable citizens exercising their right to open carry also helps counter the mainstream media's often virulent and dishonest portrayal of gun owners and general disparagement of our constitutionally-protected rights.

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