[Audio] 911 Dispatcher Tells Caller That Open Carry Is Legal in MI, But Police Still Respond and Draw Guns on Legal Carrier
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Well this is certainly a weird case. To start, we have the audio of a 911 call in which a concerned citizen called the police to report a man carry a holstered weapon on his side.
Fortunately, the caller is advised by the 911 dispatcher that the act of openly carrying a handgun in completely legal in the state of Michigan (much to the chagrin of the caller). The dispatcher even went on to say, “Well, you’ll probably see more and more of it. Since all the school shootings and such, people are exercising their open-carry (rights).”
It initially sounds like an overly concerned citizen is going to learn a lesson about the law and everyone will go about their day.
However, police still responded to the call and confronted the carrier, Johann Deffert. The first officers on the scene ordered Deffert to the ground at gunpoint.
Deffert was detained by police at gunpoint, had his firearm confiscated, and while the firearm was eventually returned to him, police returned it unloaded.
According to mLive.com,
Deffert said police violated his constitutional rights, assaulted him and falsely imprisoned him.
Steven Dulan, Deffert’s attorney and a spokesman for Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners said in the lawsuit his client’s “act of openly carrying a pistol in public was intended, in part, to increase awareness that open carry is lawful in Michigan and to rally public support, therefore qualifying it as symbolic political speech.”
The lawsuit is thought to be one of the first to attempt to classify openly carrying a firearm as free speech. If it passes muster in court, it would mean that the harassment of open carriers would be considered violations of the carrier’s First and Second Amendment rights.