BIRMINGHAM (WWJ/AP) - Supporters of Michigan’s open carry gun law are rallying behind an 18-year-old who was arrested for carrying a loaded M-1 rifle through downtown Birmingham.
Supporters filled the Birmingham commission chambers Monday night, displaying firearms in holsters and strapped to their backs. They voiced support for Sean Combs, who was arrested April 13 while walking along Old Woodward Avenue with the gun strapped to his back.
The Troy High School student faces three misdemeanor charges for brandishing a weapon, resisting and obstructing police, and disturbing the peace. Each is punishable by up to 93 days in jail.
The commission was not expected to take action or address the charges, The Detroit News reported. Mayor Mark Nickita said while public input was appreciated, the “issue has gone to the courts.”
According to police reports, officers stopped Combs around 10:20 p.m. and asked for identification, so they could verify if he was old enough to be in possession of the rifle. Police say Combs refused to identify himself and was taken into custody.
Later, police determined the weapon was a M1-.30 caliber rifle that was fully loaded with one round in the chamber. No proof of ownership for the rifle was ever obtained, and police say Combs was uncooperative during questioning.
After the arrest, 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.”
Friends who were with Combs at the time of his arrest say they were just walking around downtown and not doing anything wrong. They say Combs, who had received the rifle about a month earlier as a birthday gift, was only carrying the weapon in support of the state’s gun rights.
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