WARNING: Federal Court Rules 2nd Amendment Right Is Now A Reason For Cops To Detain You #2A #NRA


I suspect that there will be an appeal to the Sixth Circuit.  Perhaps the decision will turn on the notion of whether something never noticed by the officer is enough for reasonable suspicion of a crime.  I wonder if the court will view the video, or if that is off limits in the appeal process…

Jay Syrmopoulos / The Free Thought Project –


Grand Rapids, Mich. – In a stunning violation of 2nd Amendment rights, the U.S. District Court of Western Michigan ruled police have the legal authority to detain individuals that choose to exercise their constitutional right to open carry a firearm. Open Carry is also specifically allowed under Michigan law.

The ruling means that people in Michigan who choose to exercise this constitutional right are now subject to being stopped by law enforcement for engaging in a completely lawful activity.

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Officers detained Johann Deffert in early 2013. He was walking down the sidewalk with a holstered FNP-45 pistol, after receiving a 9-1-1 call from a woman who spotted Deffert with the open carried, but holstered, handgun on his person.

The dispatcher initially informed the caller that Michigan is an open carry state. However, the woman subsequently explained that she found Deffert’s presence alarming, due in part to his wearing of camouflage, although she admitted that he wasn’t threatening anyone. Somehow the dispatcher made the decision that someone engaging in a completely legal activity, as earlier in the call noted by the dispatcher, should now be inspected by police, due to caller saying they found wearing camo disturbing.


The absurdity in logic; that someone wearing camo takes the situation from being a completely legal situation not to be interfered with, and raises it to a level of needing police assistance, shows the extreme arbitrary nature of the entire situation.


The incident was captured on responding officer Moe Williams’ dash cam, and lasted 14 minutes. Williams had indicated he believed that perhaps Deffert was suffering from some type of mental illness, as he seemed to be “talking to nobody” when the officer arrived on scene. Upon further investigation, Deffert was revealed to have been happily singing the song “Hakuna Matata” from the Disney movie “The Lion King” while strolling down the sidewalk.

The video shows the officer command Deffert to lay face down on the ground upon arrival on the scene. Deffert was treated as if he were a criminal that needed to prove he was not doing anything wrong, as the officer detained him while running a mental and criminal background check. Deffert was polite and respectful throughout the encounter, but strongly asserted his rights regarding open carry laws in the state of Michigan.

Remember, all of this transpired despite Deffert’s total compliance with Michigan law, in respect to open carry of a firearm. Eventually, Deffert was released, as he had violated no laws, done nothing wrong, and there was no legitimate reason to hold him. Shortly after the incident, in what seemed like a vindication for Deffert at the time, Grand Rapids Police Sgt. Steve LaBreque recommended to Moe’s commanding officer, that Moe “would benefit from some additional training in handling ‘open carry’ issues.”

Several months later Deffert filed a federal lawsuit alleging his constitutional rights were violated and that he was assaulted and falsely imprisoned. The legality of open carry in the Michigan was never in question, only if law enforcement had the authority to detain an individual simply because they were open carrying a firearm, according to court records.

In the most convoluted of logic, U.S. District Judge Janet Neff claimed that officers do have such authority. Neff wrote that the officers were “justified in following up on the 9-1-1 call and using swift action to determine whether [Deffert’s] behavior gave rise to a need to protect or preserve life … in the neighborhood.”

When a call to 9-1-1 is made in regard to a completely legal activity, the police should not even be dispatched. If in fact the police needed to “determine whether [Deffert’s] behavior gave rise to a need to protect or preserve life … in the neighborhood,” they need not impeded a citizen from going about their legitimate and legal business,” as Neff asserts, but rather could passively watch from a distance to determine if there is any reasonable suspicion of criminal activity afoot, and if so act accordingly.

The most glaring problem with Neff’s logic, is that there is no reason for police to ever assess someones behavior who is simply engaging in constitutionally protected and lawful activity, regardless if another citizens takes issue with the activity. If the activity fails to rise to the level of criminality, then police have no business getting investigating or getting involved. The police, as public servants, aren’t paid to investigate non-crimes.

The idea that someone needs to prove their innocence for engaging in a constitutionally protected activity is contrary to everything America teaches its children to believe about liberty and freedom.

The case will most likely be appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The National Rifle Association and others have offered to assist in the appeal.

It will be interesting to see what open carry advocates across the nation, and specifically those in Texas, a hotbed of open carry activism, think about this ruling; and how they would respond if this were to become the standard of law in their state.

Sound off in the comments!

Be sure to share this critical information with all your liberty loving friends!

Read the decision below.

Johann Deffert court documents


Johann Deffert court documents


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Disqus Comments


  1. I see problems with the logic on both sides of the article. Unless you are a law enforcement officer you probably have no idea just how many “non criminal” complaints we actually get called for. In some cases we can explain to the caller that the law is not being violated but many times it isn’t that easy. People love to complain that police don’t do their job, even when they are doing it perfectly. I won’t go as far as to say this officer handled the situation in the best way or even in an acceptable way, but he had a duty to investigate the complaint. Let me play devil’s advocate here. Lets say this guy was a nut and was going to commit an act of violence on someone. A caller complains of what they perceive to be a valid threat but the police decide not to investigate because Michigan is an open carry state. Now the guy carries out an act of violence. How well do you think the police would fair in that situation? This guy wasn’t stopped by the cop because he was openly carrying a firearm. He was stopped because a citizen called and said they feared he was dangerous and that required police to detain him to investigate. It was excessive to have the guy lay face down on the ground but not to engage him and determine he was sane and law abiding.

    It is likely completely lawful to stand on the street corner in Michigan as well. When someone calls 911 and says they believe the guy on the corner is selling drugs should the police not investigate because it is lawful to stand on the corner?

    Bottom line, police often investigate complaints of suspicious persons or activity all the time and in many instances it turns out there is no law being violated. In order to investigate, at some point they will need to make contact with the person even when they observed no criminal activity themselves. Momentary detaining someone for the purpose of investigation is not an arrest and is lawful based on several court cases. One of the most notable is Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968). Dozens, if not hundreds, of new case laws have been based on this 1968 case. I will guarantee that the case in this article does not get overturned on appeal because they are going to err on the side of public safety every time.

    • Chuck Cleveland says:

      90 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that, through corroboration of its detail, an anonymous tip can be enough to give rise to the reasonable suspicion required for a stop.5 More recently though, the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 ruled that an anonymous tip that a person is carrying a gun is not sufficient to justify a police officer’s stop and frisk of that person, even where descriptive detail regarding the subject has been corroborated. The Court declined to adopt the “firearms exception” to Terry’s requirement of reasonable suspicion.6 Similarly, in another 2000 Supreme Court case, an anonymous tip with a physical description and location that a person had a gun was not enough for reasonable suspicion, absent anything else to arouse the officer’s suspicion.7 In that case the Court ruled that it was irrelevant that the defendant fled when the officer got out of his car and ordered the defendant to approach him.8 The tipster need not deliver an ironclad case to the police to justify an investigatory stop; it suffices if a prudent law enforcement officer would reasonably conclude that the likelihood existed that criminal activities were afoot and that a particular suspect was probably engaged in them.9

      Clearly, not every report of a citizen is worthy of belief or sufficient to justify a response by an officer. A caller could, for example, intend merely to harass someone by making an anonymous call to police and claiming someone had a gun hidden in his or her vehicle or on his or her person.

    • It isn’t that easy? What’s so hard about telling the caller straight up that they have no business calling to complain about a non-crime and then hanging up on them?

      • Like I said, if you’re not a cop you won’t understand. They are tax payers and demand a response. When they don’t get it they make complaints. Although they are generally unfounded, administrations don’t see it that way. They want you do go out and appease the caller, or at least try. Telling them you are not responding is not acceptable. And in this case, where the caller is complaining that they are in fear of an armed subject, you are never going to win that. If they had blown this caller off and something bad happened the officers whould have be civilly prosecuted for malfeasance at a minimum and they would lose. You have to make contact and determine there is no crime being committed. If handled properly, it is a quick and non intrusive investigation. As when dealing with any armed subject you approach with caution, preferably with a cover officer. You explain the reason for the detention (received 911 call) and unless the guy sounds crazy or something you are pretty much done. I worked a very rural area and encountered armed citizens all the time and never had issues with this type of encounter. Most people, unless they are just trying to be confrontational, cooperate and understand that we are simply responding to a complaint made by another citizen. This whole incident should have taken less than five minutes to resolve.

    • Mark Wester says:

      The problem is the “double standard” of allegations. Had the individual been a criminal and was singing Hakuna Matata because he was crazy, and police stopped and detained the perpetrator and saved lives the caller would be on national news and awarded a medal and a key to the city, but since the individual was a legal citizen and was doing nothing wrong and just behaving lawfully and of no consequence to anyone else and was not a threat nor ever was a threat but the perceived threat of a “Samaritan” then that caller is protected from criminal and personal actions by those that they caused to be harmed by the law enforcement officers. Now, take that “Good Samaritan Law” away, in cases such as this and see what happens!!

  2. Thomas Emeka Schaefer says:

    Judge Neff is definitely in need of serious mental evaluation. With this kind of crooked and contorted reasoning against a constitutional right, SHE PROOFS hersherself MENTALLY UNFIT FOR the office she is holding.

  3. LaRae Bailey says:

    Stupid people should not be allowed to be a judge in any state in this country

  4. sliverpix says:

    Just curious, but did anyone READ the case brief attached to this article? Honorable Neff did, in fact, agree with the plaintiff on a couple of points. (yea its a long read of 26 pages but necessary).

    Next, who wrote this article?? Im not clear who the author is/was. More to the point, it seems the author DID NOT read the case brief/opinion. From the words of the author, “In the most convoluted of logic, U.S. District Judge Janet Neff claimed
    that officers do have such authority. Neff wrote that the officers were
    “justified in following up on the 9-1-1 call and using swift action to
    determine whether [Deffert’s] behavior gave rise to a need to protect or
    preserve life … in the neighborhood.”” .. um, in the most convoluted of logic? It appears the author is pretty opinionated on the topic of gun laws.

    Just my opinion I suppose, but seems to me judge Neff used great logic and prudence.

    Obviously there are other LEO’s posting here and I suspect some of them know far more about Michigan law and the ordinances in this town, than I do. All I have is my eight year knowledge of policing from Indiana and Nine years of military. So im no judge and I was not the officer(s) on the scene, but I would have handled it differently, and I would have been chastised differently too. lol (no good deed ever goes unpunished)

    I think the real issue, as someone else posted, is the unrealistic expectation that callers put on dispatchers and police. Just from the caller’s words it is obvious to me they are not THAT shocked or alarmed. Again, using my training in interrogation/interviewing the caller is not alarmed at all. The caller saw something out of the normal, and did not know what to do about it.

    How could a dispatcher possiblly tell that, and protect themselves and their department from liability?? They could not. Not with out some very specific and expensive additional training. I could never do the dispatcher job. So to the dispatcher, i must say, good job in a tough decision in the split seconds of time you had to make it.

    For the officer, I just dont understand pointing my service weapon without seeing something that gives me reason to believe that imminent force or deadly force is being used. Just carrying a gun in a holster and walking down the street is no different than some one walking to a baseball game with a a baseball bat strapped to a game bag.

    HOWEVER, keeping my service weapon bladed behind my leg is a better tactic. Ive been in several of these situations over the years. Ive taught my STOPs classes using similar situations to help our brother warriors make stronger decisions in that split second. PLEASE, dont think im judging, but I hope only to share and teach other warriors. The more tools we have the more we can do.

    I dont believe the officer needs retraining in open carry law…. far from it. But what most of us need is more training in tactics and strategies for our neighborhoods. So we can tell when joe-blo church goer is trying to make waves vs. the actual criminal or mentally illl person who is about to hurt themselves or some one else.

    So to the officers involved, kudos. Tough call. Good job … everyone went home to hugs and kisses from their families…. nuff said 🙂

    • Matthew Faulhaber says:

      Amen. One of the things I’ve noticed about this writer is he has a tendency to either ignore or apply his own brand of logic or facts to a story. Sad. Instead of taking an opportunity to teach those who wish to open carry how to handle such a situation, our intrepid writer calls this an attempt at violating the US Constitution. As you said, tough call for the police, but one where all returned home unharmed.

  5. Do police need a reason to stop you? Supposed to, but I have been stopped for just walking down the street; no gun, just the clothes on my back. I doubt I could have had a case in court if I had challenged it. Police stop people every day, just because they want to.

    • noneofyobiz says:

      said he was talking to himself walking down the road they noticed the gun, last time I checked people could be singing with ear buds in or talking with a blue tooth!! pure harassment here!! what a f cockeyed ass state and cockeyed ass police!! and wasting tax payers money with three cops there over one cops harassment bullshit!!

  6. SafetyDave says:

    Hey, FUCK what the court rules! The Constitution is not up to a COURT!!!!!

  7. Jon Weiss says:

    So now wearing camouflage is enough for detention for suspicion of terrorism?

  8. Cameraman says:

    As Usual the Judge Sides with LE. and the Constitution takes a Back Seat. I did not read the Ruling. but am sure it was filled with what If’s,,The Police have a dual duty to Protect the Public and The Law Abiding as Well, Its obvious the Police need more Training about Open Carry, Common sense has left the Public Domain, when the Police can Stop you for Not doing anything wrong, but following the Law!!

  9. This article could seriously benefit from the services of a competent editor. There are so many spelling and grammar errors, it is nearly unreadable.

    The police should not detain someone who is not breaking any laws. End of story. Remove the idiot judge from the bench, and reverse the decision. Done.

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