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.


  1. Replies
    1. Riiight, abomination, akin to hacking the limbs off newly vaccinated African babies.

  2. But this wasn't just a "stop" for questioning. He pointed a gun at him and made him lie face first on the ground without any probable cause that a crime is being committed.

    1. That's the way all open carry idiots should be treated. They are, after all indistinguishable from bad guys with guns especially when they're muttering to themselves.

    2. And here I thought you were loath to see guns pointed at people unless absolutely necessary.

  3. I agree Mike it does " more harm than good" when police violate people rights and the courts encourage such reckless behavior from those charged to protect and serve

  4. The quote below, from Sgt. LaBrecque is a politically correct way of saying that Moe messed up big time. Quite a damning statement. Consider this, my guess is that by the time the additional officers showed up, Moe had already made those very unwise, bordering on unprofessional comments,

    “You’re talking to yourself. You’re going down the road here with a loaded handgun. Could I just think, maybe, you might be some kind of a nut?” Moe finally said before informing Deffert that he was going to check his criminal and mental health history while they further detained him within the confines of the backseat of the patrol car."

    "However, Grand Rapids Police Sgt. Steve LaBrecque recommended to Moe’s commanding officer, Capt. Pete McWatter, that Moe “would benefit from some additional training in handling ‘open carry’ issues.”

    They then did their best to deescalate the situation to where they could release Moe and hope it was forgotten. Didn't work out that way though.

  5. The judge is correct and gun carriers should not take such objection, if they are truly concerned about public safety. Most gun carriers are not concerned with public safety, only their own safety.