Detroit Gun Rights Advocates Stage Successful Protest At “Guns For Groceries” Event Conducted By Wayne County (MI) Executive And The Local Sheriff Department.
Detroit, Michigan – -(Ammoland.com)- This past Saturday, May 18th, 2013, approximately 50 gun rights activists attended a “Guns for Groceries” event to stage a demonstration of their own against the Wayne County (MI) government.
The Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano and the Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon teamed up with a local church (The New St. Paul Tabernacle Church of God in Christ), the Meijer’s grocery store chain, and the Goodman-Acker law firm to entice citizens to turn in their guns on a “no questions asked” basis.
All month long commercials were being run over the airwaves seeking to convince Detroit residents that the cause of the violence in their town was guns owned by them. Thus, if they wanted to reduce the amount of violent crime in Detroit, the “obvious” solution floated by the local county government was for everybody to sell their firearms for a $50 gift card to buy groceries at Meijer’s.
Local Detroit gun rights activists, however, know the truth about these “guns for goods” program ran by local governments all across our country:
- They have never been proven to have any positive effect on violent crime rates.
- They encourage firearm thefts because no questions will be asked.
- They potentially lead to the destruction of evidence used in crimes.
- They lead to the destruction of personal property of the rightful owners.
- They consume public resources that could be used to fight crime.
- They exploit the poor by offering $50 for potentially valuable hardware.
- They mislead the public by creating only a “feel good” fluff story in the media.
Accordingly, gun rights activists who are members of a variety of local organizations (e.g. Legally Armed in Detroit, Michigan Open Carry, Inc., Michigan Gun Owners, and Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners) set up for business in the parking lot of a local fast-food restaurant located next door to the church. Activists made sure that they were equipped to comply with current state law by having either a Michigan Concealed Pistol License or a Michigan Pistol Purchase Permits and Michigan Pistol Sales Record Forms.
The protest was an instant success: Cars that carried people looking for the church had to drive by the gun rights activists in the parking lot. As such, many people pulled over and were willing to part with their firearms for cash, often more than $50, instead of a gift card for groceries.
It didn’t take long for the county officials to discover why their event wasn’t as successful as they thought it would be. In fact, about an hour into the selling period, the Wayne County Executive himself, Robert Ficano, pulled into the parking lot where the gun rights activists were set up and exited his vehicle to survey what was happening. He left frustrated, 10 minutes later. In his place, Wayne County deputies were sent to the lot.
From that moment forward until the event ended, the gun rights activists were harassed by all day by Wayne County deputies. Their first act was to park one of their marked cars by the parking lot’s entrance and started directing people further up the street to the church.
Then a deputy went into the fast-food restaurant and talked to the manager on duty. We do not know what they told the manager, but suddenly, the restaurant reversed its decision to allow gun rights activists onto its property. Prior to contact with the deputies, their presence was allowed as long as it did not interfere with customers buying food.
Thus, the gun rights activists were ejected from the parking lot and had to move their cars. Apparently, the deputies thought their actions were enough to deter the activists. They couldn’t have been more wrong. The activists adjusted by walking up and down the public sidewalk while holding their signs.
The deputies responded by telling them that they would start writing tickets for both being on and obstructing the sidewalk in front of the church. It would be a hour or so later before discussions with the top deputy in charge confirmed that walking on the sidewalk was legal and that all deputies would be apprised of that fact.
One gun rights activists was detained for a while. It is unclear why it happened. After he was released, Rick Ector from Legally Armed In Detroit, interviewed him so that he could tell us what happened. Check out the video for an account in his own words.
At the end of the day, the Wayne County government bought 200 guns – many of them inoperable pieces of junk. The activists bought 40 guns in working condition.
The activists prevailed because they did not quit, especially after being harassed by the Wayne County government.
About The Author
Rick Ector is a National Rifle Association credentialed Firearms Trainer, who provides Michigan CCW Class training in Detroit for students at his firearms school – Rick’s Firearm Academy of Detroit.
Ector is a recognized expert in firearm safety and has been featured extensively in the national and local media: Associated Press, NRAnews, Gun Digest, The Politics Daily, Fox News Detroit, The Detroit News, WJLB, WGPR and the UrbanShooterPodcast.