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Rifle-Toting Troy Teen Open Carries for First Time Since Trial

Sean Combs, 18, and several other open carry advocates met Monday evening at Shain Park in Birmingham.

Less than three weeks after a jury of disturbing the peace and brandishing a firearm, Combs picked up his M1 Garand rifle – which had been used as evidence – from Birmingham Police on Monday.

Then, he and a few other open carry advocates took to the streets of Birmingham once again Monday evening, openly carrying rifles and handguns at .

The group, organized through opencarry.org, all share one interest: raising awareness of the right to openly carry firearms – and not get in trouble for it.

"I'm not here to make anyone feel uncomfortable or scare someone or make them feel like they're not safe because I have a gun," Combs said. "I actually want the opposite; I don't want anyone to feel like they're in any kind of danger, because they're not."

This is only the second time Combs has ever carried a gun in public, and said he did so in order to make a statement.

Combs ignited an open carry debate in Metro Detroit in April when he was stopped in downtown Birmingham for carrying a loaded rifle. Combs, who officers , refused to present his identification and . On July 12, Combs was ; a third charge of obstructing an officer was thrown out on the first day of the two-day trial.

"We start real small, speak softly and carry a big stick," said Jason Harrison, a North Branch resident who was also in attendance on Monday. "First, just send an e-mail or a letter to the City Council or the Mayor and explain what MCL 123.1102 actually says."

After holding a meeting on the south end of Shain Park on Monday, the group planned to walk over to the fountain area of the park with weapons in tow. Many of the men, who said they carry their guns for safety purposes, expected weird looks from those who saw them.

Adrienne Ruby-Fink, a bystander who carries a gun herself, explained that she is in support of the right to bear arms except in certain circumstances.

"I am pro-concealed weapon permit, but I think carrying rifles openly in a downtown area with kids around is just ridiculous," Ruby-Fink said. "But, I do feel it's our right as American citizens to be able to protect ourselves."

DanM August 05, 2012 at 06:24 PM
"Wouldn't you say a slightly dated source is better than no source at all?" --R Jeppostol Of course, that makes sense. But my question is not will I be sensible, but will you and others be sensible and not say, "Oh, that data is old." Do you pledge to accept the most recent data that is out there and that I will pass along? Will others, such as "Jeff" and "CC" (to name a couple of gun-control advocates here), pledge to accept the data? It is out there, and you can find the links to government sources rather easily, but I can present it here if it's not going to be a waste of time with you, Jeff, and CC.
Danny Griffin August 05, 2012 at 08:56 PM
> I'm all for open carry, but please cite sources. http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/statistics/data.html
Joe Blowski August 06, 2012 at 06:21 PM
The long list of comments here is interesting - here are a couple of mine. The comments of readers and residents BELIEFS have nothing to do with my RIGHTS. Common sense was lacking on both sides. Just because a right exists it is not diminished in any fashion by an individual CHOOSING not to exercise it. Conversely, overly aggressive and ill informed police officers were just as responsible for creating this situation than the now acquitted former defendant. I understand the individual is only 18 and precluded from carrying a handgun - but- IF your state has adequate CPL/CCW laws open carry is unnecessary. I don't want to make a "statement" - I want to go about my business unobstructed by the criminals and by the authorities. The suburban soccer mom is missing a huge opportunity to teach her children a lesson about society - just because YOU perceive an inanimate object as having an agenda, a personality towards good or evil does not make it so. There is a difference between teaching fear and teaching respect. Do you teach your children to FEAR cars or traffic? This is a much broader issue than just guns in public - its a constitutional issue and a tolerance issue and frankly the public fails miserably. They're about a million times more tolerant of LGBT rights and a naked gay pride parade than they are of someone exercising an ENUMERATED court challenged amendment in the Bill of Rights. THAT my dear readers is the ultimate of hypocritical intolerance.
R Jeppostol August 20, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Saw this article in the Eccentric: http://www.hometownlife.com/article/20120819/NEWS02/208190370/Birmingham-officials-seek-ban-guns-public-buildings?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Birmingham|p Was wondering if MCL# 123.1102 would prevent them from doing this or no, because they're attempting to amend it at the state level.
DanM September 11, 2012 at 05:49 PM
MCL 123.1102 prevents local units of government from unilaterally banning firearms, but it does not prevent the private citizens who work in those governments from asking the state legislature to change state law to do so. They have as much of a free speech right to ask for that as we who support individual rights have to oppose, and ultimately defeat, them.

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