Man Claims Police Wrongly Detained Him for Open Carry of Pistol

| by Michael Allen

Johann Deffert has filed a lawsuit against the Grand Rapids, Mich. because they allegedly forced him to the ground at gunpoint over a pistol that he was legally carrying in a holster.

In his lawsuit, Deffert claims the police violated his constitutional rights, assaulted and falsely imprisoned him, notes

Deffert says he was walking on a public sidewalk and openly carrying a holstered pistol on March 3.

Police Officer William Moe allegedly drew his gun and aimed it at Deffert as he approached, claims the lawsuit. Deffert says he was forced to the ground by Officer Moe who handcuffed him behind his back, removed Deffert’s gun from the holster and called for backup.

The lawsuit states: “[Deffert] repeatedly offered his identification to [police], who refused to retrieve it for several minutes, instead choosing to debate public policy with plaintiff."

When police officers verified that Deffert was entitled to carry a handgun because he was not a felon, they released him.

According to, the lawsuit claims the police officers caused Deffert undue fear, pain and humiliation.

“[Deffert’s] act of openly carrying a pistol in public was intended, in part, to increase awareness that open carry is lawful in Michigan and to rally public support, therefore qualifying it as symbolic political speech,” states the lawsuit.

According to Michigan State Police, there is no law against openly carrying a pistol as long as it is carried with lawful intent.

Sources: and