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Gun-toting advocates protest charges against teen in Birmingham

Detroit News  Birmingham— Gun toting advocates filled the Birmingham commission chambers Monday night, displaying their firearms in holsters and strapped to their backs in protest of charges against a teen they say had the legal right to do the same in public.

“It seems like cooler heads should prevail and the charges should fall,” said Dave Campbell, a Westland resident involved with, a website and resource center for gun supporters.

At issue is the April 13 arrest of Sean M. Combs, a Troy High School student, after he strolled Old Woodward Avenue in downtown Birmingham with a M-1 rifle strapped to his back.

He faced three misdemeanor charges for brandishing a weapon, resisting and obstructing police, and disturbing the peace — each punishable by up to 93 days in jail.

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.

They say the penalties ignore a right protected by law, even if that might be unpopular among some. They also called for improved police training.

“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.

But not everyone agreed with the advocates’ stance.

Longtime resident Margaret Betts said while she supports citizens’ legal rights, openly bearing arms in a community generally considered safe seems “silly.”

“Just because you can doesn’t mean you have to,” she told the commission.

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.”

Mayor Mark Nickita said while public input was appreciated, the commission was not set to intervene.

“The issue has gone to the courts,” he said.

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10 Responses to Gun-toting advocates protest charges against teen in Birmingham

  1. B.J. says:

    IF the actual events are acurately portrayed in this news article I think the NRA would love to get involved in the case.
    It seems a sure winner!

  2. Mark says:

    What kind of a pin head is Police Chief Don Studt? He said:

    “this guy was creating a disturbance and he wouldn’t cooperate.”

    Mister Combs wasn’t required to cooperate. He was entitled to be left alone and not disturbed, or even questioned.

    I think that someone should open a school where people who want to become police officers can go and learn the law. I’m not talking about the police academies where below average IQ thugs go and learn how to mace and taser people.

    • NetRanger says:

      READ THIS: They are *POLICE*. The are not “peace officers”. They are there (as their name implies) to enforce POLICy. The law? Since when did “POLICY” have anything to do with law. Police violate the law all the time. They are *THE* *BIGGEST* *VIOLATORS* *OF* *THE* *LAW*. Until we start having law enforcement back on our streets, the jackboots in blue will continue to harrass and pester us.

      The young man was doing something the policy enforcement officer didn’t approve of, so, he arrested him and is trying to make the charges stick. A wink to the prosecutor and a wink to the judge and the kid goes to jail. Thats how it works in Amerika. Its not lawful but its POLICy.

      I like the law Indiana just passed. That will help stop this kind of stuff.

      • Wuhhzahh says:

        Actually, the word “police” comes from the Latin word word poli-, meaning city. You are reasoning by analogy.

        Whether your conclusions are true or not, we should get there with clear reasoning.

  3. Mark Masta says:

    I agree. I joined Gun Owners of America first, National Association for Gun Rights second and never even considered the NRA. I figured out a long time ago the people who run it were stealth gun grabbers. They’ve been compromising away the Second Amendment for a long time.

  4. Robert48 says:

    “this guy was creating a disturbance and he wouldn’t cooperate.”
    The only disturbance was either some Nimrod ignorant fool called 911 because they don’t like Americans practicing their Bill Of Rights or the cop is lying.
    Also since when do you have to cooperate in dsimantaling your 2nd Amendment Right to keep and “BEAR ARMS”! What part of that does that police chief not understand?

  5. Richard Hill says:

    Oath Keepers!!!!!!

  6. Richard Hill says:

    Oath Keepers!!! For all active and retired Military and police they swear to uphold the Constitution regardless of cost!

  7. tom heiden says:

    According to this story, if was said, “Just because you can doesn’t mean you have to” What!!!???
    No one has stated that the issue is that he “Had to”!! The issue is whether he ‘could’ or not!! If it is his constitutional right then allow him to have done so, if he was uncooperative then charge him accordingly, if necessary!!

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