By: Hannah Hill
“You are not allowed to defend yourself in the state of Michigan.”
That’s essentially what Gary Brown, a truck driver from Houston, Texas, was recently told.
Gary Brown is an Army veteran who served three tours of duty in Iraq.
Now, honorably discharged, he’s a long-haul truck driver who essentially lives out of his truck.
It’s not easy – or safe – to haul goods across the country, and Gary’s route frequently takes him through states experiencing rioting, vandalism, and civil unrest.
Throughout the months of violent protests, truckers have frequently found themselves in the crosshairs of rioters – despite the fact that they are necessary to perform the vital service of keeping cities and towns stocked with essential supplies.
Reports include instances of trucks being attacked, drivers beaten by protesters, demonstrators hurling projectiles at trucks and breaking windows, activists intentionally slowing traffic down to a crawl, rioters blocking trucks and raiding their contents, and one horrific story where protesters dragged a driver out of his tractor trailer before setting it on fire.
As a truck driver, Gary had two options: stop working and wait indefinitely for the storm to pass, or prepare for the worst and carry on.
Like any true American, Gary refused to be intimidated by the leftist mob. He placed three guns in his truck, and he kept driving.
On September 2, 2020, Gary was pulled over for speeding while driving through Michigan. The officer asked if Gary had any guns in his truck, and Gary answered that he did – and the officer arrested him on the spot.
Turns out Michigan’s concealed carry statute requires gun owners to get a permit if they want to have guns in their vehicles:
(2) A person shall not carry a pistol concealed on or about his or her person, or, whether concealed or otherwise, in a vehicle operated or occupied by the person, except in his or her dwelling house, place of business, or on other land possessed by the person, without a license to carry the pistol as provided by law and if licensed, shall not carry the pistol in a place or manner inconsistent with any restrictions upon such license.
(3) A person who violates this section is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or by a fine of not more than $2,500.00. (Michigan Penal Code, Section 750.227)
In other words, in Michigan, you can carry openly with no permit – but if you want to put that same gun in your vehicle, you have to jump through all the regulatory hoops, pay the fee, and get a government permission slip.
But this law does not apply to a residence. In this case, Gary’s truck serves as his residence, which should prohibit the courts from punishing him for defending himself and his belongings.
Yet, the State of Michigan charged Gary with three felonies – one for each gun. He is currently out on bail, but is facing a drawn-out legal battle to defend himself in the Michigan courts.
Gary Brown’s situation is exactly why the National Foundation for Gun Rights exists – to defend gun owners and the Second Amendment against egregious attacks in the courts.
NFGR is actively raising funds for Gary’s legal defense – as well as for other gun owners targeted by leftist prosecutors and unconstitutional laws. If you would like to help support victims of unconstitutional attacks like Gary, please consider a contribution to NFGR’s Gun Owners Defense Fund by clicking here.
Hannah Hill, a South Carolina native, is the policy analyst for the National Foundation for Gun Rights. For her full bio, click here.