Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Federal Court Says Police Can (Should) Stop Open Carriers
Guns dot com
The U.S. District Court of Michigan ruled earlier this month that law enforcement officers have the authority to stop an individual if the person is open carrying a firearm – to do so is not a violation of any constitutional rights.
The decision was the result of a lawsuit that was filed in December 2013 by Johann Deffert following a confrontation with two officers in Grand Rapids nine months prior.
On the day in question, Deffert was walking down a street with a holstered FNP-45 tactical pistol when a woman called 911. The caller seemed rather surprised to learn from the dispatcher that open carry is legal in the state of Michigan, but as the conversation progressed, the woman explained to the dispatcher that although Deffert wasn’t threatening anyone, she found his appearance alarming, in part because she thought he may have also been wearing camouflage.
Officer William Moe was the first to arrive on the scene and his interaction with Deffert – which lasted a total of 14 minutes – was captured by the officer’s dash cam. Moe indicated he believed Deffert may have been suffering from mental illness, as he appeared to be “talking to nobody” as the officer drove up. It was later determined that Deffert was in fact boisterously singing the song “Hakuna Matata” from the Disney film “The Lion King” as he strolled down the road.