Gun Groups Push Rights at BBQ

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There was no mistaking which group at Burchfield Park was advocating for gun rights. All you had to do was look at their belts.

Gun owners were encouraged to carry their holstered handguns to a picnic and barbecue in Holt, to show that gun owners are a part of the community too.

"What we do by open carrying is just let people know that yes people do support the second amendment still and it's still front and center in our community," said Adam Yancer, Vice President of Michigan Open Carry. "And so people understand good guys carry guns too.

"It is a legal activity. Regular people you see at the grocery store, your neighbors, your friends, they're open carrying, it's legal, and you don't need to be afraid when you see the sight of a gun,"

Michigan Open Carry partnered with the Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners and Michigan Gun Owners to sponsor the picnic. The groups sold t-shirts, handed out pamphlets and recruited new members. About eighty people showed up in all.

Some attendees traveled hours to be present. One man even drove 129 miles.

"I believe in the second amendment," said Leroy Hofmeister. "I believe in open carry rights and I believe everybody should have the right to open carry if they wish to."

The picnic substituted for an annual Michigan Open Carry meeting that strove to set an agenda for advancing its cause.

The group says it aims to eliminate Pistol Free Areas such as schools, sports arenas and casinos.

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