The two men are being hit with felony charges.
A few weeks ago we told you about the absolutely bizarre story of two Michigan men who, allegedly miffed over a traffic stop, decided to open carry a semiautomatic rifle into a police station while they lodged a complaint against the officers.
It was an incident that was broadcast live over the internet on February 5. Baker had a tactical facemask on at the time and was carrying a semiautomatic rifle and a handgun in a holster.
As might be expected, they were not given a warm welcome and now are in jail being held on $20,000 and $50,000 bond. Both are being charged with felonies. Mlive.com reports 40-year-old Brandon Vreeland and 24-year-old James Baker are being charged for carrying concealed weapons without a permit. Vreeland was also charged with resisting arrest.
“The facts and evidence on the case support the charges that we believe can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in court,” Maria Miller of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office told reporters.
The men’s lawyer, Nicholas Somberg doesn’t see things quite the same way. He told the news outlet prosecutors were trying to “flex their muscle” with the charges.
Both men have been vocal against law enforcement in the public and on their Youtube channels. Both are also advocates of open carry. Open carry is legal in Michigan without a concealed carry permit, although it’s worth noting Michigan Open Carry quickly condemned the men’s actions as being irresponsible.
“Let us be clear, Michigan Open Carry, Inc. in no way supports the actions of these individuals. It is our belief that their actions were reckless, and primarily designed to draw attention and a response,” they wrote on Facebook immediately following the news.
Police defended their reactions and the arrest saying it was for the safety of both the officers and members of the public who were in the station during the incident.
Both men also received misdemeanor charges for disturbing the peace. Baker also got a misdemeanor charge for brandishing a weapon.
Whether these charges hold up in court or not will remain to be seen. If successfully prosecuted on the felony charges, their days of owning firearms are through. We’ll bring you more on this bizarre story as it comes. The men are next scheduled for court on March 10.