The recent arrest of a Detroit man has the city talking about the Second Amendment.
Elijah Woody is a 24 year-old Detroit man and member of Hell’s Saints, an open carry activist organization. On September 13, he was standing on a sidewalk talking with friends, a Glock 40 tucked into his waistband. As it is illegal to carry concealed, he had his jacket tucked behind the gun, carrying legally and openly. A Detroit Police officer said that a fold in Woody’s jacket covered the gun, and arrested him for illegally carrying a concealed firearm. Woody is currently on house arrest now faces up to five years in prison.
Woody’s attorney, Jim Makowski, said that “The Detroit Police Department has a history of not really respecting the rights of people to open carry… I think this makes it clear, assuming the facts lie as I believe they will, that the Detroit Police Department truly needs that supervision.” He went on to say that “They don’t care what the law is and they don’t like open-carry and they are going to abuse people for exercising their rights.”
Evidence and the dashboard camera will, hopefully, bring clarity to the situation. In the meantime, this has opened up discussions about gun rights, with Hell’s Saints organizing a march this past weekend. The march, which ended at the Detroit Police Department Northeast Precinct, was attended by about 20 participants carrying guns.
The march was organized by James Baker of Hell’s Saints. “I was understandably disturbed about the arrest,” Baker said, “We support Elijah in fighting his unlawful arrest, and hope to bring awareness to the fact that it occurred.” As for the purpose of the march, it is quite simple: he wants to “incite conversation” about open carry. This kind of open dialogue is what we need to encourage a greater understanding of Second Amendment issues.
Woody’s hearing is scheduled for September 29.