Previous Post
Next Post

A man attempted to board a bus in Battle Creek, Michigan, with an SKS rifle in his carry-on baggage. The rifle was longer than the bag, so the butt stuck out and was visible. Some of the riders called 9-1-1. I wasn’t there, so I do not know the totality of the circumstances, but it seems clear that that no one was threatened by the man, and that the rifle was reportedly unloaded. The police showed up and arrested the fellow for…what?  They’re apparently still trying to figure that out . . .


The City’s Gang Suppression Unit responded and took the 25-year-old into custody seizing the gun and a fully loaded magazine. He has not yet been charged. It wasn’t exactly a concealed weapon and it wasn’t loaded but it quickly could have been.

This sounds like the beginning of another false arrest settlement. There have been a number of them in Michigan over other open carry incidents. I wonder what’s meant by “a fully loaded magazine”?  Most SKS rifles have a fixed magazine and load using 10-round stripper clips such as this one:


I’m reminded of how Justice Scalia recounted his experience of carrying a rifle on New York City mass transit as a boy, and how no one back then considered it a problem.

Carrying concealed handguns on public transportation isn’t prohibited in Michigan, but a number of transit agencies prohibit the transport of weapons on their vehicles. That might be a breach of contract, but I doubt that it would warrant an arrest.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Gun Watch

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. Carrying a (poorly) concealed weapon without a permit? Since I live in CA my sks has the original fixed 10 round mag. I have a shitload of stripper clips for it. I’ve heard(no real experience) that the detachable mags are problematic for the sks.

    • The Tapco 20 rounders are decent–never have had problems. Any of the larger ones are less reliable with my experience. The cost of making the rifle 922(r) compliant though makes it not worth it

      • Yeah, I spent 99 bucks for mine. Investing any thing in it that may effect it’s, so far, perfect reliability doesn’t seem worth the expense or the effort.

        My son keeps hinting around that he has room for it and all that nasty com bloc ammo I got for it at his place. I may just let him haul it away.

        I’m at the point that I’ve got more guns than safe. May be time to thin the herd.

        • Tom, I got plenty of willing volunteers closer to my home. As for more storage. If I get any more I’ll have to add on to my house. That’s expensive and I’m lazy.

          Also Tom, probably this weekend I’ll get serious about buying my hunting vehicle. Something 4wd. Got a good line on pigs but I need a better vehicle to get there.

        • Always better to get another safe. I think there are always things you wish you could have in a safe and never enough room, not just guns. Safes are great investments.

        • I understand plenty. Permits are required to carry concealed in most states. And freedom is coming to CA. Slowly, but it’s getting here.

        • Really the only thing they MIGHT be able to get him on is the butt sticking out of the bag. All the law says is “enclosed in a case.” If they wanted to make an argument against him they would have to try and define enclosed as “fully enclosed.”

          Other than that the circumstances jive with legal transport of a long gun per MI law.

    • The fixed 20’s are truly the way to go with an SKS, robust and reliable, however detachable 30 and even 40 round magazines that work reliably can be had. It’s not that the design doesn’t work with detachable magazines but rather that a large number of poor quality detachable mags exist in the market place.

      The primary problem tended to be that the lips of the forward attachment point were too weak (being generally of stamped sheet metal) and would bend either outward, causing the magazine to not seat or fail to attach altogether or else to bend inward preventing the magazine from being inserted in the first place.

      Careful handling of even the worst among these will make them serviceable but delicate. Better quality magazines appear to be made of better steel and thus do not bend so easily. There are also different designs that have bump outs and other appurtenances in the problem area to stiffen it against lateral bending. Even the worst quality designs can be bolstered by having the lower portion of this ‘box’ notched and a pin welded across the bottom to stiffen them.

      I have experience with all the above types including the home-improved ones. Once the lock up is stiffly achieved all seem to feed reliably.

      Since the SKS has no manual bolt hold open feature (other than reaching in and holding up the bolt catch) and since the magazine cannot be removed with the bolt closed, many detachables are damaged when removal is attempted with the bolt closed. Avoiding this mistake will keep most magazines running fine for years.

  2. Sounds to me like another “disturbing the peace” hummer arrest comin’ up. Some of these know-nothing cops are really getting out of hand. Anybody ever heard of calling a supervisor, maybe a prosecutor?

    • Maybe they’re afraid they’ll get chewed out for “bothering” their superiors. As if that isn’t what “superiors” are supposed to BE for.

      • Maybe so, but a bunch of guys with guns, handcuffs, and badges dithering about what the charge should be AFTER they’ve arrested someone is kind of bothersome to me.

    • Then they should be able to tell him that at the time of arrest…and quote the relevant statute.

      We were taught in SC it is a VERY big no-no (as in felony) to “arrest” someone without being able to affirm the charge at the time of arrest. There was to be none of this “hook you up, think of something later” business.

      Don’t know if that’s the case here or not, but if it is, just wow.

      —From SC Title 17—

      SECTION 17-13-50. Right to be informed of ground of arrest; consequences of refusal to answer or false answer.

      (A) A person arrested by virtue of process or taken into custody by an officer in this State has a right to know from the officer who arrests or claims to detain him the true ground on which the arrest is made. It is unlawful for an officer to:

      (1) refuse to answer a question relative to the reason for the arrest;

      (2) answer the question untruly;

      (3) assign to the person arrested an untrue reason for the arrest; or

      (4) neglect on request to exhibit to the person arrested or any other person acting in his behalf the precept by virtue of which the arrest is made.

      (B) An officer who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined in the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

      HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 17-255; 1952 Code Section 17-255; 1942 Code Section 993; 1932 Code Section 993; Cr. P. ’22 Section 80; Cr. C. ’12 Section 74; Cr. C. ’02 Section 47; G. S. 2447; R. S. 46; 1993 Act No. 184, Section 53.


        • Let’s just go arrest a bunch of difficult people and then we can sit down and figure out something for charges against them. Maybe loitering in the jail?

        • If you argue, he’ll arrest you for resisting arrest. I’ve always loved that one, and I’ve heard it several times.

    • The TENDER SENSIBILITIES of the public! Please don’t bother the cops; they might arrest you instead.

  3. If the facts are as reported, he wasn’t carrying concealed, or openly. He was merely carrying. Carrying a cased and unloaded rifle.

  4. He should call Rick Ector (suburban Detroit) who can recommend counsel. Sue the sh!t out of the po-po!!

  5. In the state of Michigan it is illegal to have an uncased gun (of any kind) in/on a motor vehicle. A gun case that is unzipped even one inch is considered an uncased weapon. Not that I agree with it, but it is the law.

    • A gun case that is unzipped even one inch is considered an uncased weapon.

      Has that ever been backed up by the court? The law saws enclosed, not “fully” enclosed.

      • 750.227d Transporting or possessing firearm in or upon motor vehicle or self-propelled vehicle designed for land travel; conditions; violation as misdemeanor; penalty.

        Sec. 227d.

        (1) Except as otherwise permitted by law, a person shall not transport or possess in or upon a motor vehicle or any self-propelled vehicle designed for land travel a firearm, other than a pistol, unless the firearm is unloaded and is 1 or more of the following:

        (a) Taken down.

        (b) Enclosed in a case.

        (c) Carried in the trunk of the vehicle.

        (d) Inaccessible from the interior of the vehicle.

        (2) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or a fine of not more than $100.00, or both.

        • Enclosed does not imply that one inch unzipped is a violation. My own practical experience bears out that it is not so. Notice too, that so long as the weapon is stored away from the driver/passengers, no casing requirement exists. If he was riding the bus, he very well could have intended to store the bag in the baggage area, thus complying with the law.

  6. This article is hilarious…lol It says several people called 911, then comes back to say, we have no idea why the police showed up! Here is a clue, people called 911!!! lol Then they said no one appeared to feel threatened by the man with the SKS, yet several people called 911! lol Alrighty then. Great reporting Mr. Police Hater man.

    • From Brad: This article is hilarious…lol It says several people called 911, then comes back to say, we have no idea why the police showed up! Here is a clue, people called 911!!! lol Then they said no one appeared to feel threatened by the man with the SKS, yet several people called 911! lol Alrighty then. Great reporting Mr. Police Hater man.

      Here is the article from above:

      “Some of the riders called 9-1-1. I wasn’t there, so I do not know the totality of the circumstances, but it seems clear that that no one was threatened by the man, and that the rifle was reportedly unloaded. The police showed up and arrested the fellow for…what? They’re apparently still trying to figure that out . . .”

      The article does not say “we have no idea why the police showed up” . It wonders why the man was arrested.

      The article does not state that “no one appeared to feel threatened”. It says “it seems clear that that no one was threatened”. Why, you might ask? Because the man was not arrested for threatening, it was never said that he removed the rifle from his luggage, and it was not claimed that he said any threatening words. People can “feel” threatened for many reasons, and they can call 911 for many reasons, not all of them valid or benevolent. Because someone calls 911 does not mean that the person that they are calling about did anything wrong.

  7. Many people do have modified SKS rifles that take detachable magazines. No modification is really needed, other than removal of the original magazine, but additional components must be added for 922r compliance. A Tapco stock usually creates compliance, though with some variants an American made gas tube or trigger may be needed to reduce foreign parts count.
    The Tapco magazines also are very trouble free, some other makes of removable mag have suffered from feeding problems. My own Tapco equipped SKS carbine is a reliable and enjoyable gun to shoot, the bolt also having been modified to allow magazine insertion/removal on a closed bolt.
    The rider could very well have had loaded magazines with him.

  8. They could charge him with MCL 750.227c

    There is no permit to carry a loaded long arm in a vehicle, it must be unloaded.

    Public transit buses are preempted under MCL 123.1102 and handgun carriage is mostly governed by MCL 28.425b and permitted handgun carriage via license is valid statewide under a statewide standard.

    • Although the link itself is worth a look. This is the state of journalism today: A picture of two Chinese type 81s stolen from wikipedia and labeled “SKS assault rifles,” and an article that appears to be written by a bright 7th grader. The last two snarky sentences say it all.

      “It wasn’t exactly a concealed weapon and it wasn’t loaded but it quickly could have been. But there is also the 2nd Amendment which gives American’s the right to carry guns.”

      While I’m not surprised at the errant apostrophe, I’m a little shocked that the journalist didn’t add “/sarc/” just to make it totally clear which side he was on. Way to use those first amendment rights responsibly, journalists.

  9. He was arrested for thought crimes. He clearly did not think the way the fascists want him to think. He had to be arrested before all that individualism caught on.

  10. Seeing as how he was in Battle Creek, maybe they thought he was a “cereal” killer? I imagine that a large spoon, bowl, and a gallon of milk would be more appropriate in that case though.

  11. Is it just me, or does anyone else have a problem with complying
    with police if they can’t even come up with a reason to arrest you?

    I know some states have ‘must comply’ statutes but this case
    definitely seems to fall under the false (illegal?) arrest category.

    • That’s the 64 dollar question. Unless I feel the cop is going to murder me, then I’m complying. Much as it may gall, fighting in the court is better than fighting in the street.

      Each person has to decide for themselves and every situation is different. But to resist is to potentially add heavy charges and years in prison. the cop will have backup within moments. You will not.

      And even if the first cop was wrong, all the responding cops are going to see is a brother in distress.

    • So your choices are to comply, get arrested, get a lawyer and then a settlement or… what, exactly?

      Keep in mind you can be totally innocent and yet get arrested based on probable cause (say a bank robbery a block away had a suspect that looks just like you).

  12. it is a clip! why does the media use incorrect terms and say magazine. heck they could even say it was a disposable clip because 7.62 stripper clips can be had for 40 cents or less.

  13. He said he was traveling to Lansing to sell the gun. There is a gun show in the Lansing area this coming weekend but Monday is a bit early to travel there.

    There is going to be a new TV show this Fall about the Battle Creek police force so maybe this can be part of an episode.

  14. “…it wasn’t loaded but it quickly could have been.”

    Anyone else see “speed of loading” as a new legislative attack point?

  15. UPDATE: According to WKZO, police charged the man with a misdemeanor (resisting a police officer), and he’s plead guilty to the charge. $260 fine and 4 days in jail. However, they haven’t been able to find a gun charge to hit him with, but may ask the feds for assistance in finding a federal law to slap him with.

    Be careful if you read the entire article though. The bottom half (the bulk of the article, really) is more the writer, John McNeill, talking about the SKS in a way that should make you, at least, shake your head and go “tsk, tsk”. But the anti-gun slant of most media shouldn’t be a surprise at this point.

    • It was also said in the article there had been No Weapons/No Ammuntiion signage at the terminal. That would”ve most likely gotten him a trespass citation.

      I’m surprised he rolled over and pleaded guilty to the obstruction/resisting charge. There are still facts missing from the media articles. I’ll go out on a limb and say he was probably resisting the officer’s unlawful detainment. I’m still not clear what he did that was illegal.

      • Signs do not have the force of law in MI like they do in states such as Ohio. Prosecution would have to argue that a sign qualifies as “sufficient notice” and it is very hard to prove. It’s not been done to my knowledge. Generally in MI you have to be asked to leave, then if you refuse you are trespassed.

        From what we know of the story, he had not committed an illegal act prior to “resisting.”

  16. “They just wanted to get home alive that night.” OMG! I think maybe the author IS a seventh-grader.

  17. Interesting….The law requires probable cause that a (Specific) law has been broken before an arrest can be made. There is no arrest now and figure it out later.

  18. Maybe the gun owner was going to check the bag on the Greyhound’s baggage compartment. Greyhound states no guns in the terminal, but I wonder if the federal common carrier law affects this? Would like to see an attorney’s opinion.

  19. This doesn’t surprise me at all. A dickaround by a worthless piece of trash sporting a badge…I’ve also been a victim of this.

    I’ve been told that I was “under arrest” and the Chief Deputy (Knudson, St. Croix County WI Sheriff’s Dept) could not tell me what the charges were when I asked why he was handcuffing me. He said, “we will figure that out later.” I arrived at the St. Croix County Jail at 10:38pm on September 10, 2012 and several of the deputies tasked with booking me kept asking the Chief Deputy “why is he even here?” I was denied a phone call. My fingerprints were taken, my personal possessions confiscated and I was thrown into general population with people who may or may not have been charged with a crime. At 6:30 am, September 11, 2012, I was released without my socks or shoes and denied a phone call for a ride. I had a deputy following me at all times, all 23 miles home, which I walked without water, socks or shoes in 90 degree heat. I spent the next week lying in bed recovering from my forced march.

    This isn’t uncommon. All it takes is a tyrant with a badge and a few others who could, but instead choose to do nothing about it.

  20. Since transit agencies are subsidiaries of government, they are bound by constitutional constraints. Any policy that violates limits on their power is unenforceable.

  21. They would nail him on carry concealed I would imagine, as we are an open carry state, so the police will say that the gun sticking out of a bag is an attempt to conceal

    • Um, no. In fact, there was no gun charge filed. The police arrested him and he spent four days in jail before his court appearance. By this time the lawyers and the judge realized that he had not yet broken any laws. So the judge gave him a small fine and time served for resisting arrest, or actually “hindering or obstructing an officer” as BC calls it. It’s a catch-all charge they use. They couldn’t readily admit that he was arrested and jailed without just cause. Here’s what all the parties have said about this on the record.
      “I didn’t really do it on purpose,” said Jason Smith. “I was just nervous and kept moving around and he thought I was trying to resist arrest.”

      “When we made contact with him he was resisting, pulling away, was nervous,” said Sgt. Jeff Case, Battle Creek Police Gang Unit on Thursday. “Basically didn’t want us to make contact with him originally.”
      Yeah, I bet. A young black guy traveling with a rifle being approached by the BC Gang Unit? Why were you trying to arrest him anyway, Sgt. Case? No one is asking the Battle Creek police that! BC has a reputation. If the guy would have placed the gun in a sealed case or even a cardboard box and stowed it as luggage, no one would have been the wiser. He would then have met the letter of the law for transporting a firearm without a CPL and avoided all this BS false arrest. Pretty sad, really.

      • And we wonder why people in urban centers do not trust the police. The Prosecutor, Judge and the officers in this case should all be in jail. This is a disgrace. I expect this sort of thing in third world semi-feudal societies.

        We can do better.

  22. They stole this man’s property and violated both the 2nd and 4th Amendment’s. This is an example of many more I tell people about. The “LEO’s” in this country are nothing but criminals for enforcing ILLEGAL, aka, unconstitutional codes/statutes. And the idiots on that bus, well, they are anti-2nd Amendment apparently even though they have the same rights we have. Only difference is, we choose to exercise our rights, they don’t. This guy was probably going somewhere to have some fun that day target shooting or something and then he ends up KIDNAPPED and his property stolen. He should’ve shot those crooks.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here