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» Guns Welcome:

Guns Welcome

Posted by on September 17, 2013 at 4:22 pm.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Three gun groups are planning a picnic at Riverside Park on the second Saturday of ArtPrize.

The Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners, Michigan Gun Owners and Michigan Open Carry, Inc. are inviting the public to a “Second Amendment BBQ” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28.

The organizations will provide free hot dogs and pop. Visitors are asked to bring a dish to pass and a gun.

“The lawful open carry (or concealed carry w/ license) of a handgun is encouraged, though not required,” states this form where people can RSVP.

The president of Michigan Open Carry attended Tuesday’s Grand Rapids City Commission meeting to extend a personal invitation to Mayor George Heartwell. As is customary for commissioners after taking public comment, Heartwell did not directly respond to the invitation.

“My invitation to Heartwell was sincere,” said Phillip Hofmeister, Michigan Open Carry president. “The two sides have a habit of demonizing each other and I just want to show him that we’re good people like everybody else.

“I hope he considers coming out. I doubt he will.”

Hofmeister previously appeared at a commission meeting to protest an unenforced city ordinance prohibiting the open carry of guns in Grand Rapids.

One Michigan Open Carry member, Kentwood resident Tom Lambert, has been a regular meeting attendee over the past nine months and spoke to the commission again this week.

Lambert’s comments generally have shared information about guns with the commission and also have been critical of Grand Rapids leaders, specifically Heartwell and the mayor’s outspoken support for gun control. The criticism at times has taken a sharp tone.

Brady Schickinger, executive director of the Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners, said the picnic’s site in Grand Rapids has nothing to do with Heartwell’s stance on guns, but is being held here “because it’s the center of West Michigan and we’re doing it at the same time as ArtPrize.”

Similar picnics have been held earlier this year at other locations around the state.

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