A group wielding handguns and rifles is probably not something you'd expect to see often in the upscale Detroit suburb of Birmingham, but following the recent gun-related arrest of an area teen, gun rights supporters decided to protest there by packing heat in public.
Sean Combs, 18, was arrested in April while strolling down Old Woodward Ave. with an M-1 rifle. Combs faces misdemeanor charges of brandishing a weapon, resisting and obstructing police, and disturbing the peace, but his supporters say he was within his rights to openly carry the weapon.
As the Detroit News reports, gun advocates gathered last night in Birmingham and packed a town commission meeting with their firearms on full display, even though the commission had no plans to discuss Combs' case.
From the News:
Gun enthusiasts and supporters of "open carry" flocked to the regularly scheduled meeting of the commission, which was not expected to take action or address the charges, to voice their opposition...
"Why ruin the life of an 18-year-old man for the actions of an overzealous police officer?" said John Roshek, president of the Citizens League for Self Defense, a group that works to educate people on their Second Amendment rights and open carry...
In April, Birmingham Police Chief Don Studt acknowledged the constitutionality of Combs' decision to carry his gun, but said "this guy was creating a disturbance and he wouldn't cooperate."
Birmingham Mayor Mark Mickita said he appreciates public input, the News writes, but maintained that "the issue has gone to the courts."
-John Klein Wilson, Michigan Radio Newsroom