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Rifle-Carrying, Non-Cooperative Teenager Is Declared Innocent

Written by Gary North on July 31, 2012

A young man in Michigan has a real grasp of political theater. When he turned 18, he loaded his rifle, strapped it on his back, and went for a stroll.

When a policeman asked him for his identification — “Your papers, please” — he refused to present it. Three policemen arrested him.

The case went before a jury. The jury acquitted him.

Did he break the law? The jury said no. The law was easy to apply. Michigan is an open carry state. If people can see that you are armed, you have a right to be armed. You do not have to present any ID.

Then why did the cops arrest him? Because he did not appear to be 18.

Fair enough. But then they added these catch-all violations of civil liberty: disturbing the peace and obstructing a police officer. A local judge dismissed the third charge. If every judge in the country did this in all cases of non-violent refusal to cooperate with the police, there would be no such charge brought.

As for disturbing the peace, the jury said the man was innocent. This is good news.

Combs just graduated high school in June and had received the long gun — a vintage 1942 M1 Garand .30 caliber combat rifle — as a gift from one of his brothers on his 18th birthday.

In his testimony, Combs said he decided to walk around with the rifle to exercise his civil rights.

“I was just exercising my rights,” he testified. “Freedom of expression, freedom of speech.”

He made his point.

We need more people to make this point.

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24 thoughts on “Rifle-Carrying, Non-Cooperative Teenager Is Declared Innocent

  1. NoMoreMarxistsInDC says:

    Did he get his gun back, I hope? Especially since it's a vintage M1 Garand rifle, which is considered one of the best guns ever made–and was the catalyst that won WWII.

  2. William 1 says:

    Looks like the police need an educataion i rights of the citizens of the USA everywhere!

  3. I applaud this young man. Where are the rest of us cowards?

  4. […] http://teapartyeconomist.com/2012/07/31/7839/ This entry was posted in The Town Crier. Bookmark the permalink. ← Why are they exempted . . . . . . […]

  5. gunner48 says:

    Good for him! Inconvenient But good to challenge authority every once in awhile keep them honest……And on their toes……

  6. Wow brave man…these days you have to wonder if the cops might panic and shoot you first then asks questions later.

  7. Indiana is an open carry state also. I walk around armed daily and have no problems. The police in my town know me and know I have a lifetime carry permit. The few bad guys here dont WANT to know me. Bravo kid. At last someone with some patriotic GUTS!

  8. Bruce M Winthrop says:

    When I was of legal age to carry a rifle. I use to belong to the Georgetown sharp
    shooters team. When it came time to go shooting I would carry my rifle on my back
    and walk to the range as most all of us did. Even the Game warden did not bother me.
    As he was going to the same place. Now comes the supprise. this was in Massachusetts. How do you like that? Now I live in a fairley free state.
    I don’t like Communism. This country is a Republic with a Constitution.
    And that is what I go by.

  9. RICHARD ZIMMERMANN says:

    MY FELLOW AMERICANS: WHAT WE NEED is for the Mainstrem media idiots to broadcast these incidents and not just Obama's GLLOM and DOOM adgenda.

  10. Same situation in Salt Lake City a couple months ago, but the Disturbing the Peace charge was upheld.

  11. All the comments here are GREAT. I know I have been voicing my opinion a lot more these days. I am concerned for our children and grandchildren. The audacity that politicians think they can tell us what to eat or how much we eat or how much we drink boils my blood. Now there trying to tax us on our mileage. Yes here in Florida they are talking about it and I beleive California. Talk about taking freedoms away.We need to stand up against this. One more thing I need to get off my chest.Stop giving entitlements to lazy people.

  12. If the Police had not stopped him, and he turned out to be a shooter, then everyone on this post would be screaming at the laxness of the officers for letting him go. You can't have it both ways, either let the police do their job or take your chances that someone with a rifle won't shoot you. This kid had a chip on his shoulder and invited controversy for fun.

  13. Been nice if they talked to him like a person. As in, "What are you doing?". An "old school" police officer would have approached this kid that way. Ask him what he was doing and why he was doing it. Perhaps they did approach him this way, or maybe they figured "Gun = Bad News".

    Don't these police people watch enough to see that someone who has bad intent pretty much "broadcasts" it to anyone? They have an aggressive walk and body posture? While a person going about their business isn't coming across with bad intent?

    Darned shame that they let this problem escalate. Now they might have an excuse to let some real problem mosey on off and do some bad things because "look what it got us last time".

    A good compromise is – when you're armed you carry ID. If you don't have it you have to come along to verify it. Maybe that will anger some of you but it's just an idea.

  14. oh, then we'd better be safe and put everyone in jail then.

  15. exercising a Constitutional Right is now considered disturbing the peace! that must be why they arrest abortion protesters!

  16. the M! Garand was a .30-06, the M1 Carbine was a .30 cal.

  17. I aggree with Joan. I'm an NRA thirity year life member and I live in Arizona. I'm also a former police officer. We have great gun carry laws here and I exercise my right to carry. That said what this did kid was just plain dumb. Just because something is legal doesn't make it smart. It's stupid acts like this that make all of us look bad and the anti-gunners love it. It's this sort of actions that give politicans the excuse's they are looking for to justify more gun control. I would have done just what the officer did. If you are going to do dumb things with a gun no matter how legal expect to get stoped and ask for ID. I'm one who believes in limited police power but at the same time they have the legal responsibility to protect the public when possible.

  18. In reply to boomer8, both the M1 Garand and the M1 Carbine are .30 cal, .308 in diameter to be exact. The 30-06 is a bottleneck case that holds more powder, the M1 Carbine is a straight case and holds a lot less powder.

    Additional comment related to incident being discussed:
    Things have really changed from when I was a teenager (1950's). I was a Boy Scout and we had an Army Reserve Unit across from my high school that allowed Boy Scouts to shoot on their indoor range. Once a week, for several months, my high school Principle would allow me to bring my .22 rifle to school (in a case) and leave the rifle and ammo in his office until after school. I would then pick it up and go across the street to the Army Reserve Unit and target practice on their indoor range. If you tried this today chances are they would have the SWAT team storming the place. Those were the good ole days.

  19. Ernest T. says:

    I would prefer to take my chances that every year or so a crazy or a criminal will do something crazy. Than to give the government the power to infringe on our constructional right to keep and bare arms for self and national defense. See what is happening in Syria right now over 20,000 citizens murdered by their government. Governments have the arms to murder millions if their people if they don't have the arms to defend their self's. We should be like Switzerland and require military training for all citizens and than require all adults to maintain a service weapon at home. The Government is a much greater threat to our lives than a few armed crazes. Look at the news!!

  20. Bravo! Maybe we really CAN take this country back!

  21. oldshooter says:

    Excuse me, Joan, but there are some errors in your comment:
    First, it is not the job of the police in an "open carry" state to stop anyone they see with a gun; rather it is their job to let them alone, like every other citizen, unless they see a crime being committed. They may have thought he was underage, but arresting him for that appearance is equivalent to arresting anyone "Hispanic looking," because they might be an illegal alien. We generally frown on that sort of thing as smacking of "police state tactics."
    Second, I for one, would not be screaming about the laxness of the police, if he had turned out to be a shooter. Although I might be screaming about the failure of the law to permit others to carry a gun in the place (virtually certain to be a "Gun Free" zone) where he started shooting folks. Frankly, I'm quite happy to take my chances that someone I see with a rifle won't shoot me. I've been doing so with remarkable success for the last 66 years, and was only wrong once, but that was in Viet Nam, and at least I got to carry a gun of my own there, so I could shoot 'em back.

  22. oldshooter says:

    Cont'd:
    Third, I think you're right that the kid had a chip on his shoulder and invited controversy. I'm not sure it was for fun though. Maybe he's an idealist who just wanted to see if the police were versed in the law (they should be), and on his side (they should be – he's doing nothing wrong). OR, maybe he's an idealist who wanted to make his political point without (like the "Occupiers") actually damaging anything or violating any laws. This is the USA. We don't (or at least we shouldn't) arrest people for exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights. The kid is within his rights to act like an idiot, walk around with a chip on his shoulder, or whatever, so long as he doesn't break the law, which he didn't.

  23. richard holmes says:

    It is in the 30 cal. group technically. It is in fact a 30-06. I have one and it is a nice weapon.