…While some anti-gun enthusiasts may find it unpalatable, in many states it is not illegal to openly carry a gun while walking down the street. And when stopped and asked about it, one doesn’t have to produce ID to inquiring officials.
So is the case in Michigan. And 18-year-old Sean Combs is educating plenty of people on the issue after a jury sided with him last week following an arrest for carrying his loaded M-1 rifle down Michigan streets and refusing to initially show identification when questioned by police.
It happened on April 13 in Birmingham, Mich. At the time, Combs was stopped by police after having the vintage rifle strapped to his back. He was told to show ID but refused. The Observer and Eccentric has more on what happened next:
Michigan is an open carry state that does not require a person to produce ID when stopped by the police. In this case, however, the three officers involved in the arrest each testified they wanted to see some ID from Combs because he did not appear to be 18, the legal age to openly carry a firearm.
When he refused to produce ID, they arrested him. He was charged with brandishing a firearm in public, disturbing the peace and obstructing a police officer. Judge Marc Barron of the 48th District Court dismissed the third charge on a lack of evidence.
“Michigan law does not require anyone to produce ID on demand,” Combs’s attorney, Jim Makowski, told the local CBS affiliate. ‘They were rude and disrespectful to my client from the get-go.
The law needs to be revisited,” said the Rev. Julius Del Pino, pastor of St. Luke’s Methodist Church in Rochester Hills. “We no longer live in the Wild West. This is the 21st century. With all the issues of violence, not only in this state but across the country, we can do a better job in terms of ensuring the safety of people.”
Juror Ed Kickham, a real estate attorney who lives in Bloomfield Township, said the issue over identification needs to be addressed.
“I think there’s a hole in the statute,” he said. “To me, I think the legislature needs to couple this open carry law with a requirement that people show ID when they’re asked to show it. We have such laws for drinking or for getting a driver’s license. I think if you’re going to carry a gun around, it seems reasonable that you should have to identify yourself if there’s a requirement that you have to be 18.”