Dash cam video of incident in Kalamazoo highlights debate over Michigan's open carry gun laws

(WXYZ) - Thirty states including Michigan allow open carry of guns. An incident on May 4 in Kalamazoo is getting national attention because it shows how anyone without a permit can cause a scene. 

The incident was first covered on MLive and The Kalamazoo Gazette and the video is used with permission.

Sixty-three-year-old Joseph Houseman held Kalamazoo Police at bay for 40 minutes, refusing to give his name, refusing a breathalyzer and refusing to put down the gun.

Instead he talked of starting a revolution, made lewd gestures and cursed at police trying to calm him down. 

Gun advocates encourage people to act as ambassadors when they openly carry a gun. In Michigan the only requirements for open carry are you must be 18-years-or older, if it is a handgun, it must be registered, it must be holstered or shouldered and you can't be a felon or under the influence. 

Terry Johnson is a Metro Detroit Attorney who teaches gun protection and safety classes. He has watched the Kalamazoo video and talked with 7 Action News Investigator Jim Kiertzner. 

Kiertzner asked "When you watch this video, two things come to mind, gun and nut?" 

Johnson answered, "Yes." 

Kiertzner, "They don't mix?" 

Johnson said, "Correct. We don't want people who are out here who have mental issues. Unfortunately some people with mental issues are getting access to guns." 

In the Kalamazoo case, police were able to get Houseman to lay down the gun. After he was checked out, he was given his gun back the next day. 

Open carry does does not mean open threat. If someone carrying a gun "brandishes" it, police must take action to maintain public safety. 

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