Sturgis Police respond to call  of man toting AR-15 style rifle

STURGIS — Homeland Security tells people that if they see something out of the ordinary, they should say something.

That’s what happened about 6 p.m. Tuesday in Sturgis.

Someone called the police saying that a man in the Lazelle Street area was carrying what they believed to be a “machine gun.”

Sturgis Police officers responded to the area and made contact with the individual, said Sturgis Police Chief Geody VanDewater. The man refused to give his name or any details about the firearm, VanDewater said.

“It’s not against the law to carry a gun,” he said.

Officers informed the man that it would be unlawful for him to enter a business that derived at least half of its income from the sale of alcohol, such as a bar or the Sturgis Liquor store with the firearm.

“He was carrying an AR-15 style rifle, and was walking near the liquor store and Lynn’s, but never went in,” VanDewater said. “He has the right to carry it. He wasn’t violating any state or city laws. We didn’t have any right to detain him.”

VanDewater did say that if people are concerned about something they see, it’s OK to err on the side of caution.

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