Skip to comments.Gun-toting Michiganders promote 'constitutional carry' at rally
Posted on 05/20/2012 8:38:01 AM PDT by marktwain
LANSING, MI Gun rights activists from throughout Michigan gathered at the Capitol on Saturday to promote easing restrictions on carrying firearms.
The group wants Michigan to become a constitutional carry state, where concealed weapon licenses are not required and there generally arent restrictions on how or where guns are carried. Vermont, Alaska, Arizona and Wyoming have similar laws.
What we are trying to accomplish by this rally and future and ongoing efforts, is having our Second Amendment rights restored back to their original intent as laid out in our Constitution by our Founding Fathers, said John Roshek, president of the Citizens League for Self Defense.
I dont know about you, but personally I find it a little absurd that I can walk down the street, I can lawfully open carry, but if I want to put my coat on because it's cold or If I want to get in my car, I have to get a permission slip from the state and I have to pay a fee on top of that, he said to a crowd of about 100 people as the rally kicked off Saturday afternoon.
Michigan allows residents to openly carry legally owned firearms without a license except for in certain pistol-free areas. There also are restrictions on transporting guns without a license. Concealed pistol license holders may carry guns hidden from view in certain areas.
Lawmakers are considering a major overhaul of the concealed handgun law that would streamline licensing and allow permit holders with extra training to carry hidden handguns in gun-free zones like schools, college classrooms, and other places they are now banned.
Related: Sweeping changes proposed for Michigan concealed handgun law
Grand Rapids resident Tim Beahan, 54, supports the legislation.
Right now we have a patchwork of agencies that are taking care of the concealed pistol licenses and unfortunately theres no consistency, he said, adding that some jurisdictions take much longer to administer licenses than others.
But given the choice, hed prefer Michigan remove restrictions and become the fifth constitutional carry state. Beahan and his wife, Sandra, said they open carry to protect themselves from people who may view them as an easy target.
Those in favor of gun control say stricter regulations save lives and help keep guns away from dangerous people. Constitutional carry supporters say just the opposite.
It will not increase crime, and very likely, in places like Detroit where theyve had great restrictions and in other anti-Second Amendment jurisdictions, youre going to see crime go down, because the crooks are going to know, Uh oh, he might be carrying, she might be carrying, said Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, a national lobby group based in Springfield, Va.
For 14-year-old Bretta Overly of Lansing and her friend, Alexis Farmer, 13, of Grand Ledge, both said they feel safer knowing their fathers have guns.
They also plan to carry firearms when theyre old enough. Michigan residents must be 18 to openly carry and 21 to apply for a concealed pistol license.
Jeremiah Chesney, 22, of Jackson, said he carries his shotgun down the street to desensitize the public.
There are some people who react very strongly and negatively, but I think the more that people see firearms carried peacefully, the less theyll expect sort of action-movie things to happen, he said. I think there are a lot of people whose only exposure to firearms is through violence in films. I dont think thats constructive.
Email Melissa Anders at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter: @MelissaDAnders.
I am approaching this level in my area in CT. I’ll open carry from my house to the corner store (Where the owner knows me) and some of my clients I will carry openly (Again, when they know me and welcome me to do so).
One such classic example is a client of mine who runs an auto repair shop. He invites me to walk around the property, be the in bays, or in the office openly displaying a firearm.
So far ? No one cares. I have not had ONE person even skip a beat when speaking to me, or seeing the firearm.
The only attempt I will make about the rifle thing is to start with a pickup truck with a gun rack on the window. In CT this simply doesn’t exist, yet everyone is aware that pickup trucks sometimes have gun racks ... “In other places”.
Even I’m not brave enough (Or stupid enough, depending on when.. I DO live across the street from a police department) to carry a longarm. I have carried a shotgun over my shoulder in my yard - just as a “See how this feels” sort of exercise.
We all have our comfort zones. I first started open carrying in public in Wisconsin in the 1970s. While it was perfectly legal, it took a while to increase my comfort zone, and it took quite a few legal and legislative victories to convince the powers that be that they could not simply arrest people for exercising their constitutional rights.
Thank you for doing the hard work of pushing your boundaries. We are winning this fight, but it takes work, dedication, and the willingness to hold officials accountable.
Thank you. Keep up the good work.
ONLY law abiders are gunless..
Gun Contro.....being able to hit your target.