Gun-Carrying Group Gathers in Birmingham Park to Support Troy Teen

A dozen open carry advocates assemble at Shain Park on Monday to support 18-year-old Sean Combs, who was arrested in Birmingham in April for carrying a loaded M1 Garand rifle.

From a distance, the small group of men gathering, talking and grilling under an awning at in downtown Birmingham seems innocuous.

Upon closer inspection, however, it soon becomes clear they're all openly carrying a fully-loaded firearm. Or two. Or, in some cases, three.

"I wanted to come out and show my support," paramedic and Clio resident Ken Herman said, his Glock 17 pistol fastened to his right hip. "(Openly carrying) is perfectly legal and acceptable and makes society a safer, more polite place."

Herman was one of about a dozen open carry advocates who were at the park by late Monday afternoon to support , who was .

"I'm in support of anyone who gets into trouble for doing something legal," Troy resident and open carry advocate Dan Edinger said, his Springfield XD 9 pistol resting on his hip and his AR 15 rifle slung over his shoulder. A Kel Tec pistol stays concealed in the former Marine's pocket.

"I want to bring attention to the fact that open carry – whether rifle or pistol – is legal in Michigan."

Organized by Eastpointe resident Jeff Kroll, the informal rally first began as an idea on OpenCarry.org, which spread Combs' story around the online forum. Open carry advocates on the site believe the teen's arrest is not just violating the Second Amendment — it's violating his civil rights.

"What this city did here was illegal all the way," Huron Township resident and open carry advocate Mike Aquilina said. "(Combs) did nothing wrong, and (Birmingham) is going to lose."

Combs, who told Troy Patch last week he appreciated the support from the group, did not attend the rally while Patch was present.

Later in the evening, the group attended the Monday night meeting of the Birmingham City Commission, where nearly a dozen protesters spoke during the meeting's open comment session.

"I urge the commission not to ruin the life of a young man for the action of an over-zealot police offier," said John Roshek, a Clinton Township resident and president of the Citizen League for Self Defense.

Roshek noted police officers are asked to uphold the US and state constitutions upon being swore in."I fear the words we swear to when we take office are just words."

Kroll told the commissioner Combs was, if anything, "in contempt of cop" that Friday night.

"What happened is very antithetical to the concept of freedom," Kroll said.

Chief Don Studt said whether the case moves forward at this point is up to the courts. Combs was arraigned in and .

According to Combs' attorney, Jim Makowski, their team has filed a motion to dismiss the case based on the constitutionality of the police stop.

PavePusher June 16, 2012 at 09:11 PM
@ Erik: Congrats, you've just endorsed Apartheid. Wow. Well done. Stormfront is looking for people just like you. Seriously, did you consider, for even the barest moment, what you just said? Black Civil Rights marchers should have just "stayed in THEIR communities". Gay Civil Rights marchers should have just "stayed in THEIR communities". Anti-War protesters should have just "stayed in THEIR communities". Anyone demonstrating for equal and just and correct application of law for all should just "stay in THEIR communities". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came%E2%80%A6
Douglas Holloway June 18, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Jeff, in case you didn't know nearly everyone there carrying a firearm have their CPL's. Whether or not you FEEL safer or not doesn't really matter. What does matter is that you WOULD have been safer. Also, just a reminder, You nor I have ANY right to FEEL safer, you and I only have a right to BE safer.
gary whitmire August 06, 2012 at 04:00 AM
The subject at hand is this. He is legally of age to have a rifle. There was No crime being committed. There for how can the arrest be justified? Anti gun people always try to make something out of nothing. No where in his case did it involve banks, concealed hand guns. This is his right to bare arms and it was violated.
ed August 06, 2012 at 04:02 AM
Wish I was closer...I would have been right there with them!!! People should not have to fear the gov't, Be it local or federal.The Gov't should fear the people!!!
ed August 06, 2012 at 04:15 AM
Erin, You are part of the problem with this country,Before you go flying off the handle let me explain. You seem to be perfectly content with allowing the Gov't. to protect you and tell you what you can and cannot do.You are perfectly content with the idea of giving up certain rights in order to be "protected". This is not what our founding fathers wanted for this country and it damn sure isn't what the "majority" (as you put it) of your community or any other community wants. I know of another group of people who had the same outlook on Gov't and personal rights that you do.....Nazi Germany. Worked out great for the Jews,Gays,Mentally Handicapped,Physically Handicapped and "Dissidents" now didn't it?


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