With Pistols and a Rifle, Group Gathers Again to Support Troy Teen

Nearly a dozen open carry advocates met at Shain Park in Birmingham again Friday to support 18-year-old Sean Combs, who was arrested in Birmingham in April for carrying a loaded M1 Garand rifle.

Despite the triple-digit heat, a small group of open carry advocates gathered Friday evening at Birmingham's to support Sean Combs, the 18-year-old Troy resident who was arrested in April after he was found .

A similar group of open carry advocates also , later attending the Monday night meeting of the Birmingham City Commission.

Combs, who is following on June 20 at the , was present at Friday's gathering along with his mother, brothers and several other open carry advocates.

"I really appreciate it," Combs said. "It shows people support me."

after an . Combs was arrested around 10 p.m. after refusing to show police officers identification after they asked about the M1 Garande rifle strapped to his back, police reports state.

Ferndale resident Mike Stanley, who arrived at the park carrying a Springfield XD .45 in a holster on his hip, said he showed up to support open carry rights after seeing a post on opencarry.org.

"The goal is to educate people in their right to self defense and get rid of the taboo," Stanley said. "People have a built-in taboo when it comes to firearms, and that's the point of this."

"I feel everyone should be comfortable with open carry," Clawson resident Stephanie Locke said. "When you conceal, there's more of a threat because you don't know what they're carrying."

Locke said she believes the best way to have people become more accepting and comfortable with open carry is by educating them.

"The less you know about it, the more scared you are," she said. "The more understanding you have, the less you'll have to worry about."

Combs agreed, saying, "Whether people like it or not, it's educating people on the issue."

Combs is scheduled for a jury pre-trial for 1:30 p.m. July 9, with the jury trial set to begin at 8:30 a.m. July 11.

Unknown Poster July 09, 2012 at 06:04 PM
The comments dont concern me in the least, I just found it creepy that you are so fixated on her. Now, since you clearly dont know any of the people involved in the case or any of the unreported details please try to refrain from making generalized statements. Would you opinion of her change if she didnt know that he was going to do what he did, but now that it has happened she supports him? I agree, they BPD should have stopped him and questioned him. That isn't exactly what happened though. They bullied him, screamed at him, and demanded he show his ID when he didn't have to. Had they been polite, and shown some respect (the same respect that they demand be shown to them) he would have kindly handed over his ID. And why is it common sense to do what ever the police tell you? Are you that brainwashed that you will just do anything a cop tells you to do. THat is the problem here, the cops think they can do whatever they want whether it is legal or not. You state that you realize what he did was legal, but you are OK with him being arrested on bogus charges simply because he didn't obey every order (that they had no legal right to in the first place)? And since what he did was legal in the first place, after they got his ID and saw that he was 18 why wasnt he let go? Please just admit that you simply dont like people standing up for their rights if it is something that you find "scary".
cookiepro2 July 09, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Unknown Poster, How do you know the BPD "bullied him, screamed at him, and demanded he show his ID"? Were you there, or are you relying on a second-hand or more removed version of the event? The nuances of human interaction are complex; the police may have thought they were being reasonably polite, Sean, being inculcated by the gun rights culture, may have thought they were bullying him, merely by asking to see his ID, and then have reacted accordingly, which then caused the police to take him into custody. I really don't think this is a good pro publicity case for open carry advocates. Find the ones where someone was saved by a private citizen with a gun fending off a bad guy. Or recount some of your own personal experiences where your gun actually saved you. And besides, if you are already protected by law for open carry, why the fuss? Is it you want us that don't carry guns to like you and look upon you as potential heros? You're not going to change opinions by comparing an affluent suburban youth, out for a night on the town, with Rosa Parks's situation.
Unknown Poster July 09, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Yes, the nuances of human interaction are complex. Maybe the police thought they were being "reasonably polite" but in actuality screaming at him. Lets just say i have a better source of knowledge than this news article. The point still seems to be lost on you. If his rights to open carry are already protected by law than why was he arrested again?
cookiepro2 July 09, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Thanks for replying, Unknown Poster. From the news reports he was arrested for "brandishing a firearm, disorderly conduct and obstructing an officer", not for open carrying. Something went awry after the police officiers asked (or demanded) to see his ID. I would think the police officiers would be well aware of Constitutional rights, Michigan law and Birmingham ordinances, more so than the average citizen....we'll see when the case comes to trial.
Unknown Poster July 09, 2012 at 09:54 PM
I know what the news reports say. Do you believe everything you hear. Do you think the news reporters were right there when it happened? They werent. They got their story from the police, who aren't about to paint themselves into a corner. To say that they would be well aware of Constitutional rights is a bit optimistic. They should be aware of them, but they clearly aren't. And birmingham ordinances are completely irrelevant, since Michigan has preemption regarding firearms laws. Please educate yourself with the following link: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(t3ycngj43wkvgcvfmgn3dxbr))/mileg.aspx?page=GetObject&objectname=mcl-123-1102
mwaterous July 09, 2012 at 10:19 PM
While getting your facts from wikipedia might negate the presence of any intelligence to begin with, I think you might want to research your stance on that issue a lot further before you start throwing numbers and statistics around that you obviously know nothing about. Australia, the UK and Canada have all seen dramatic rises in violent crime and in particular gun crime ever since they all enacted strict gun laws (including registration, once again punishing the law abiding citizens). In fact if you read anything instead of just regurgitating whatever supports your position you would see that a lot of gun related crime has actually drastically increased in those areas. Gun laws don't stop criminals from obtaining guns. How hard is that to understand? They're not buying them legally to begin with. Gun laws stop law abiding citizens from protecting themselves, and from protecting folks like yourself.
mwaterous July 09, 2012 at 10:24 PM
Way to bring pit bulls into this just to prove you don't care about the actual issue and are just here to rabble. Excellent comparison though. I own a pit bull who has never harmed anyone. I know quite a few other pit bull owners that I see at the park every weekend (where I carry openly), and their dogs are some of the sweetest little furballs you have ever met. I hate to tell you this, it may just blow your mind... but if a chihuahua is mistreated, it will attack your child as well. The difference is a chihuahua is the equivalent of walking around carrying an airsoft pistol. If all the criminals in this country chose to start doing business with airsofts, I would gladly carry a wiffle bat around instead. Seriously, think about what you say before you say it.
mwaterous July 09, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Another excellent example. If one of those teachers at Columbine had been armed, a good many less people may have been harmed.
cookiepro2 July 09, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Here's what Judge Barron said regarding Birmingham ordinances vs the Michigan constitution: "City ordinances must follow constitutional law," Barron said. "(However) Home Rule cities have specific authority to enact ordinances in the interest of the city." which I presume is his reasoning for binding Combs over for trial. I also presume the gun rights advocates will take this case to higher courts if Combs is convicted.
cookiepro2 July 09, 2012 at 11:10 PM
You are right, Unknown Poster, so far all we are hearing are the actual charges brought against Mr. Combs. Soon he will have his day in court and be able to present his side of the story, complete with unbiased witnesses. I've pasted the verbiage from the MI legislation re firearms that you linked to: 123.1102 Regulation of pistols or other firearms. Sec. 2. A local unit of government shall not impose special taxation on, enact or enforce any ordinance or regulation pertaining to, or regulate in any other manner the ownership, registration, purchase, sale, transfer, transportation, or possession of pistols or other firearms, ammunition for pistols or other firearms, or components of pistols or other firearms, except as otherwise provided by federal law or a law of this state. Wonder what that last clause "except as otherwise provided by federal law or a law of this state" means? Could there be a law of this state pertaining to the "Home Rule city specific authority" to which Judge Barron is alluding?
Adam July 09, 2012 at 11:33 PM
CookiePro, you're reading that entirely wrong, it means that the only other laws that can be in place in regards to firearms are those of State law or Federal law. A local unit of government still cannot enact a law or ordinance that is different from state law. The judge here is either a little misguided in his information or he is very misquoted.
Mitch July 10, 2012 at 02:14 AM
The "police" are supposed to be trained in the little thing call the law. They are supposed to have Reasonable Articulated Suspicion of a crime. That little thing called a Supreme court said so.
Inner Voice July 10, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Maybe someday people will be ready for peace and will be done with violence as a method to solving problems. Guns are for violence and carrying a gun for protection is still an agressive action. When people say that guns prevent violence they mean that intimidation and fear prevent violence. This is still an act of agression and it is not peaceful and will never foster peace. It may give the illusion of safety but I hope some day you will learn the sense of peace that does not come from the feeling of power or having the upper hand. You truly are living a fearful life dependent on a belief in your physical personal power. This is an illusion. Some people are living in a peaceful world. I hope you will join us some day.
cookiepro2 July 10, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Looked at some past articles on this subject and Bhm is using a city ordinance against "brandishing a firearm" which also exists in state law, i.e., Michigan Penal Code, MCL 750.1, so no preemption of the state law. Bhm's attorney says that by walking down the street with the large rifle, even holstered, in this particular situation constituted "brandishing" which has as one of its dictionary definitions "displaying ostentatiously". The defense attorney cites a 2002 opinion by Jennifer Granholm, then attorney general, which can be seen here: http://www.ag.state.mi.us/opinion/datafiles/2000s/op10176.htm, the last statement of which says "It is my opinion, therefore, that a reserve police officer, by carrying a handgun in a holster that is in plain view, does not violate section 234e of the Michigan Penal Code, which prohibits brandishing a firearm in public." However isn't this opinion as stated applicable only to a "reserve police officer", not to Sean Combs? IMO, it looks like if Mr. Combs at any point took his gun out of the holster and people around him were intimidated enough to call the police, the city will have a strong case; not as strong a case if gun was holstered the whole time.
SezEye July 10, 2012 at 05:18 AM
Isn't it interesting that when progressives have nothing to say they resort to calling people names and belittling them? Pretty easy to ID those incapable of rational thought.
Inner Voice July 10, 2012 at 11:43 AM
"An armed society is a civil society." in the world view of a fearful, power hungry, egotistical society. As I've mentioned in another post, carrying a gun, even for self protection is a violent act based on fear. It is not necessary except when you think it is. It all depends on your world view which is what you make it to me. People who carry guns are contributing to the very violence that they think they are preventing. It is a warped view.
Unknown Poster July 10, 2012 at 01:10 PM
You have taken just a bit of that ruling out of context. how about this quote from the same opinion, "For example, in United States v Moerman, 233 F3d 379, 380 (CA 6, 2000), the court recognized that in federal sentencing guidelines, "brandishing" a weapon is defined to mean "that the weapon was pointed or waved about, or displayed in a threatening manner." Simply walking down the street with a rifle on your back is not displaying it in a threatening manner. The rifle isnt even in your hands, how can it possibly be used to theaten someone? And feel free to file a FOIA for the 911 calls recieved that night regarding someone with a gun. You won't find any. Clearly people were not very intimidated.
Mitch July 10, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Such logic kept the US out of WW2 and lost 20 million lives in camps.....
cookiepro2 July 10, 2012 at 04:52 PM
It's been interesting doing the "armchair lawyering", we'll see what happens in court, could be one of those precedence setting cases. Certainly this must be costing Bhm legal fees, nothing to ignore in these tax revenue strapped times; they must believe it an important enough case to pursue, even if ultimately not winnable.
Adam July 10, 2012 at 05:50 PM
I'm not sure what world you live in, but for the rest of America things like kidnapping, rape, assault, murders, robberies, and home invasions are a real threat to people. People like myself who carry a firearm arent carrying because we are afraid and live a fearful life, we carry a gun so we dont have to be afraid. I have quite the peace of mind knowing that if someone pulls a knife on me while I'm at home or at an ATM I have a chance to defend myself and not suffer serious injury or possibly death. You can continue to feel free to live in this world of "peace" that you imagine, for the rest of us we will still be in the real world where there are real threats. The smart ones will carry a firearm so they will not become a victim.
Unknown Poster July 10, 2012 at 06:32 PM
I think they find it to be an important case because they dont want it to look like the police department made a mistake and infringed on his rights. They should have said sorry, and sent him on his way a long time ago.
Jeff July 10, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Unknown Poster - Apparently you possess this omniscient power of knowing exactly what happened during the Combs/ BPD incident. Amazing! Do you perform as a mind reader, when you aren't the "Unknown Poster?" Also, even after explaining to you, in the most elementary terms why I brought up Combs' mother in the discussion, you still find it creepy? (Unknown Poster -"The comments dont concern me in the least, I just found it creepy that you are so fixated on her.") Sorry, I can't break it down for you in any more simpler terms. Finally, I am amazed that based upon my previous comments you then make this "leap of faith" with your comment....Unknown Poster -"Please just admit that you simply dont like people standing up for their rights if it is something that you find "scary" ." Seriously, that's the best you've got? Sad....
Unknown Poster July 10, 2012 at 06:44 PM
I never claimed to have any omniscient powers. I simply said I am much better informed than what the news has shared. Your comments about his mother were not very clear if your intention was simply to say that she is a bad parent. Instead of just saying that, you try to insult her for some reason. Usually when little boys have a crush on a girl they insult her. I simply noticed that is what was going on. If you aren't against people's freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and right to bear arms than why are you so offensive to ward the teen and his mother. Did he somehow cause you harm or infringe on your rights? Please remember that your "feelings" do not constitute rights. So, lets hear the best that have now....
Rick McCallum July 12, 2012 at 03:15 PM
With the crime rate climbing the way it is and with this potential gun ban coming up kids are going to be finding guns on the streets and I know if my kid finds a gun he is going to know exactly how to handle that situation god forbid it arises Make no mistake. I refuse to keep my child in some make believe wonderland where there are no winners and no losers and everything will be just fine . Thats child abuse people that do that are setting their kids up for complete and utter failure . just my 2¢
Rick McCallum July 12, 2012 at 03:29 PM
This kid has/ had every right to carry his rifle . Police think they can do anything they want to people and we must obey "Granted this wasn't the brightest idea this kid ever had.. but still ,it is his right" that being said Kimber why do you think cops carry guns if we live in a world where "as you put it" I am not sure" what" Mike Stanley feels he needs to defend himself with a gun in Birmingham or in most places in our country" To answer this ..the same thing the cops need them for Crazed crack heads , rapist , murderers. Most kids that get killed or are killed accidently by "Locked away guns " Are kids that are unfortunately uneducated about guns . That's the parents fault every kid should be taught how to handle a gun Statistics prove most kids killed or maimed by a legal "locked away" guns are nine out of ten times the kids of anti gun parents at a neighbors house.. Do you know how much home invasions would drop if every home owner had a gun. . Watch what happens if they ban guns in this country how fast the first ever foot soldiers invade this country and start killing innocent civilians. all these anti gun people will be the first ones standing behind they guy who still has his gun . . As far a s the Zimmerman deal goes the kid didnt even have a gun on him . If he had.... he he might still be alive !!
Mitch July 12, 2012 at 04:02 PM
NOT Guilty on all counts! Very good!
Rick McCallum July 12, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Perhaps everyone that wanted to go had umm jobs.. and couldn't. I do not think they are exploiting the kid as much as the issue at hand, and the fact they ARRESTED THIS KID JUST FOR WALKING AROUND WITH A RIFLE. COPS DOING THAT REALLY PISSES SOME FOLKS OFF
Rick McCallum July 12, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Lets not sugar coat this Jennifer . If a black kid did this he would have been shot by the cops seriously he probably would have. Now before anyone starts calling me a racist because I mentioned the word black and I myself am white try to keep this in mind. "I'm not prejudice or a racist at all, In fact I hate every one equally"
Rick McCallum July 12, 2012 at 09:40 PM
How come when a person accidently kills some one in a car ..no one blames the car ...but if some one kills some one with a gun everyone says we need to ban guns. Well I think we should ban all cars they kill more people every year than guns heart attacks cigarettes l and war combines yet no one wants to get rid of them One more thing I dont see Japan not invading us because almost every house hold had a car in 1942 .they didnt invade us with 2 million foot soldiers because "as the commander of the .aircraft carrier that launched the attack on Pearl harbor said .. Americans have more guns than they have blades of grass" Now take away those guns and see what happens Jennifer. As much as I'd like to live in your fun loving fancy free flower flying world , It isn't like that over here in Real World USA lady.. "Not to be offensive or anything"
Erin December 18, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Don't you think most Birmingham residents were relieved the officer arrested this lone, clearly confrontational young male carrying a loaded rifle walking down a Birmingham street?


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