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Updated: Man Faces Brandishing Charge for Allegedly Displaying Gun

Today we received the following email:

I am currently fighting a Livonia Ticket for alleging I "Brandished" my Glock 19 in a Meijers [sic] Store located in Livonia, MI.

My Firearm was concealed under a safari vest and holstered to my body. During a conversation with the Store Manager with my spouse over a problem he saw my firearm and someone called the police. We left the store without incident after paying for our groceries.

We were surrounded by 6 police cars, I was handcuffed and thrown into a police car with no indication as to why....I was give a ticket for brandishing.

So let's review:

  1. Man and wife shop together.
  2. Man has concern which he is addressing with the store manager.
  3. Manager sees man's gun inside vest and the cops are notified.
  4. Cops surround, detain, handcuff, and ticket the man for brandishing (in front of wife).

Now it's true, there may be more to this story.  Let's assume the story is as simple as it is presented.

This may be the type of thing HB 5091 and HB 5092 is designed to prevent.  These bills passed the House by a vast bi-partisan majority (over 95% voting in favor).  Where are these bills?  These bills (which passed the State House back in March) are sitting on the Senate floor, awaiting for Senate Majority leader Randy Richardville to pick them up?  Why won't Randy act? Probably because Richardville is being a "Good Republican" and holding back guns bills, just like his Republican Governor (Snyder) wants!

In the meantime, a possibly innocent man faces Charges in Livonia.  You can attend a hearing on his motion to dismiss.  Details below:

Date of Hearing: 10/23/2014
Time of Hearing: 9:00 AM
Address of Hearing: 16th District Court
32765 Five Mile Rd.

Livonia, MI  48154-3045
Name of Judge Hearing Case: Kathleen J. McCann
Case Name: People v Ponkey

There is one disputed fact in the case that might give rise to pause on supporting Mr. Ponkey.  According to his own motion to dismiss:

[The store manager] claims that Defendant approached him and said, “I know how to fix your cashier problem” before opening his jacket and showing Mr. Mislevy his gun. The witness also alleges that Defendant pointed to his gun.

Obviously, we don't know whether this actually happened or not.  That is something that the Court will have to determine if it is:

  1. Relevant
  2. True

Update 10/23/2014: According to MGO's Facebook page: This morning Mr. Ponkey plead guilty to Disorderly Conduct & his CPL was revoked.



It's Meijer, not Meijers.

Thatnks, I added a [sic]

I carry at the Meijer all the time, never had an issue.

Does the individual in question have a CPL?

I would hate to "assume" this, but if one did, then "brandishing", and it's legal definition, seem to be relevant.

Also, "the other side" of the story seems to be relevant, as well.

Seems clear the court, or a jury, will decide the true facts.

I'm not one to get into social media being a judge and jury. There is too much political posturing on social media.

I'm a Livonia resident, and I think our courts are fair.

I support OC. However, I am a little leery of "open carry" in Livonia for myself. I truly do not have the time, or money, to fight in court. And somewhere I'd believe this would be required. I feel the same about this in Detroit, where I also spend quite a bit of time.

Regardless, I agree with your comments about Richardville and Snyder. I've seen some of your other comments regarding Snyder's position on guns.

It is quite clear to me that Snyder is now, and has been, anti-gun. Not just because of your comments, but as a result of Snyder's actual actions and statements, and political meddling and changes to, pro-gun bills.

Appreciate your time and effort on these issues. I am a MOC member, just not active.

Acording to the Motion to Dismiss, the man does have a CPL.

I appreciate your thought on this topic.  Obviously the fact that he felt the need to draw attention to his concealed gun (if this is true), is troubling.  You are right, a judge and jury may have to sort out what story is true or not.  We tried to report this as a news story given all the facts that we have.  Given the facts we have and the limited knowledge, we can't come out and outright support him.  I hope someone gets to the truth behind all of this.

I find it hard to believe that the manager made that up off the top of his head. This guy screwed up, plain and simple.

That may be true, Neil.  That being said there is a presumption of innocense in the country.  The man plead guilty to Disorderly Conduct.  I wasn't there for his allocution, so everything I know is in the article.  If the accusation about opening his vest is true, then he certainly isn't a model gun carrier.  That being said, I don't think it rises to the leel of brandishing.  Everyone makes mistakes.  Some people make them repeatedly.

Ponkey pled guilty. Case closed.

I always open carry at K-Mart, Meijer's and Walmart's mostly in the Warren stores. I've never had an incident at the pharmacy, groceries or dry goods. I've open carried at their stores in other cities with no problems.

If the man opened his vest and pointed to his pistol and made an implied threat to the manager, he's lucky he just had to pay the fine and lose his CPL.

If it is true, he's not a person I'd want representing the gun community with an irresponsible attitude like that.

This could be read in at least a couple of ways.

Could be he didn't have the resources to fight the case, could be he recognized that he might have been given a break on the original charges, and chose not to fight further.

Doesn't necessarily answer the question as a whole about "brandishing".

But at least for me, it sort of keeps me in the column of supporting OC, just not for me.

I'm not one to fault OC for "tactical" considerations. Nor do I fault OC for "negative publicity", I'm actually on the side of it is good to have guns openly displayed to disprove the "crazy gun owner" theory.

It's just not for me right now.

I do otherwise carry concealed pretty much 24/7

Let's start with the "facts". I put quotes there in case I am ridiculed for interpreting comments representing known information or opinions in the media.

The man in question was arrested. He was accused of brandishing.

The laws in every state are wide and deep. To the OC crowd I would think that the definition of the word is more important than the law that uses it. Laws are constantly in motion because we are taxed to pay for other citizens who are in power to do just that. Change laws. We all should be careful of getting caught up in the sideline debates regarding who supported particular legislation and what their motive may be.

By definition did this guy brandish? He may be a jerk. That is opinion. The store manager may have overreacted. That is opinion.

My opinion is that the discussion should be about an imminent threat to the store manager or other patrons. If the gun was not a factor, say if the man was just very aggressive, obnoxious and very large, would this even be discussed?

We live amongst jerks. Some, regrettably carry. However, some are predators, thus one of many reasons for the Second Ammendment. For the same reason laws are strict on personal defense, you just cannot shoot somebody in the face because you feel threatened, you also cannot claim that someone threatened you just because of the presence of a firearm or another tool that can do bodily harm.

To be a bit silly, but to establish this point, if I put a number of knives in my cart and then went to the meat department and escalated some dialogue to the store manager about how to cut meat and pointed at the knives and did truly think about slicing up said manager with his product but then left and paid for the merchandise, would this even be discussed?

Such as the OC movement does provoke logical thought, the discussion should focus on if the sight of a potentially harmful object is the issue, or if a real and substantial threat was imminent.

Again, if the opinion of the store manager outweighs not only logic but reasonable doubt, that is the issue and there should be evidence to support a conviction including the fact that Brandishing did occur by definition.

The Michigan State Attorney Generals definition of brandishing is: holding a gun in your hand waving it around and pointing it. That opinion was published by the Michigan State Attorney Generals office. That was not reported in this situation that happened at Meijer.

This is one of those, "he said, she said," you had to be there moments. It won't be resolved here. I will continue to open carry where ever I go.

In the past week I have had encounters with five policemen who noticed that I was carrying and couldn't have cared less. I stopped and chatted with four of them at the last MOC dinner at the National Coney Island on Mack Avenue. I was toting my Springfield 1911, cocked and locked. The other encounter was at Panera's on Southfield Road in Lathrup Village. I was standing in line and as he walked by he glanced at my Ruger SP-101 and didn't bat an eye.

If you are in a bank or store that's being robbed and for some reason the bad guy sees your gun before he atemps his robbery don't you think he's gonna shoot you first . Sorry but I'm sticking with concealed carry.

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