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Group Hosts "Open Carry" Picnic On Belle Isle

DETROIT (WWJ) - The gun rights group that planned an "open carry" dinner at a restaurant earlier this year is hosting an open carry picnic on Detroit's Belle Isle.

In the state of Michigan it is legal for citizens to openly carry a handgun if they are 18 years of age, the handgun is registered to the carrier, the carrier is on foot and in some circumstances, if the carrier is not in a designated pistol-free zone.

Rick Ector, Chief Instructor of Rick's Firearm Academy of Detroit, said 100 visibly armed citizens are expected to be in attendance.

"It is a demonstration of our second amendment right. It gives us the opportunity to come together, to fellowship and to outreach in the community to inform them of their rights, if they desire to openly display a firearm while going about their daily activities," he said.

The purpose of the event, according to Ector, is to raise awareness that the practice of open carry is a lawful activity in Michigan, adding that "although we made some progress in our aim of educating the public from our last public event, there is still much work to be done."

He said those who openly carry guns, especially in Detroit, are sending a message to someone who may want to harm or rob them.

"A visual deterrent of that visibly displayed handgun definitely sends a message to the bad guy that this is a person who's involved in their safety and is willing to protect themselves," Ector said.

In April, Ector organized what many people believe was the first ever open carry dinner ever held within the city limits of Detroit. Nearly 100 armed citizens attended that event.

The picnic, billed as Legally Armed In Detroit's "Second Annual OC Picnic," will be held at Belle Isle Park Shelter No. 19 on Sunday, Aug. 28 from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

For more information about open carry and Legally Armed In Detroit, visit

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