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Men with weapons downtown violated the law

On June 13, The Alpena News printed a picture of four men gathered on the corner of Chisholm Street and 2nd Avenue with loaded semi-automatic, assault-style weapons. These men were anti-protesters to a peaceful “March for Our Lives” event, organized with a purpose of demonstrating solidarity for victims of gun violence and also to advocate for legislative changes to our gun laws.

While it is understood these men were exercising their U.S. Constitutional right to gather and their Michigan Constitutional right of open carry, they did not uphold the legal obligation incumbent on the gun carrier in that they brandished these weapons.

Brandishing, as defined by Michigan Compiled Laws, would be pointing or waving a gun at anyone or displaying a firearm with the intent to cause fear in another person. It can reasonably be stated that angry men, carrying loaded semi-automatic, assault-style weapons, while yelling obscenities and vulgarities at peacefully assembled people, do intend to incite fear. In other words, Open Carry Laws do not entitle the owner to terrify others with the weapons they own.

When gun owners engage in their right to open carry, they cannot, by law, brandish these weapons as defined by Michigan Compiled Laws (MCL) 750.234(e) and MCL 750.222(e). This is a violation of Michigan State Law, and therefore, is an illegal act.

DAN McNEIL,

Alpena Township

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