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Posted on Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 11:48 a.m.

Man arrested for brandishing carbon dioxide gun at downtown Ypsilanti bus stop

By Amy Biolchini

Ypsilanti police arrested an 18-year-old man after he brandished a gun powered by carbon dioxide during a confrontation Monday night at a bus stop.

Officers were dispatched about 8:30 p.m. Monday to a report of a disorderly group of people preparing to fight at the Ypsilanti Transit Center in the 200 block of Pearl Street in Ypsilanti.

The 911 caller told police that one of the men in the group had a gun in his waistband.

At the bus stop, police searched the 18-year-old suspect and found a carbon dioxide gun.

A carbon dioxide gun is the same class as air guns, and is powered by small disposable cylinders filled with about 12 grams of liquid carbon dioxide. They typically fire BBs or pellets.

The man was arrested that night for disorderly conduct and for brandishing a facsimile weapon. A facsimile weapon is the name given to an object that mimics or looks like a real weapon.

The man was later released, and has charges pending related to the incident.

Further information about the incident was not immediately available.

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Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter.


Jon Wax

Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 1:28 p.m. this guy sums it up perfectly!! apparently when i say it, it's racist. same thing though. Peace Wax


Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 4:55 p.m.

Pellet guns can and have killed people. In the wrong hands, they are just as dangerous as any firearm. On another note - while not quite the same as a pellet gun, an air rifle can bring down game. Lewis and Clark used them over 200 years ago.


Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 12:50 p.m.

Interesting video of someone being questioned by police for legally carrying a gun and walking down the street. ://


Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 3:52 a.m.

Good job YPD.


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 10:32 p.m.

Lets be clear. No where in the article does it say airsoft! tdw is the one that suggested that. All we can surmise from the article is it is ????


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 10:29 p.m.

tdw Please send me the model airgun that shoots over 500 fps that I can buy at toys r us.

Reverend Bubba X

Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 10:21 p.m.

Airsoft guns shoot soft plastic pellets. Airguns, BB guns, & pellet guns shoot metal projectiles. Very different level of hazard. Based on the info in the article, it probably was not an airsoft gun. CO2 powered pellet & BB guns are often referred to as airguns, almost never as CO2 or carbon dioxide guns.


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 9:24 p.m.

Whatever kind of gun it is, this is the type of damage it can cause:


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 8:57 p.m. can buy the spring powered ones at Toys r Us.


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 10:22 p.m.

tdw I will offer you the same opportunity to prove me wrong. Let me shoot you with this toy then you can brag about how you did not flinch when shot with this toy.


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 8 p.m.

There you go again with the thinly veiled anti gun rhetoric! This time you seem to be getting called out on it too...I laugh out loud. I can visualize it can we demonize a bb gun?...I know let's coin a new term..dun dun dun...carbon dioxide gun!!!


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 7:17 p.m.

I dont think He brandished i tjust by carrying it in a waistband. If he showed it and made some motion or verbal suggestion about it to insinuate he was "Packing", it may be brandishing or even an assault. If it was a true BB gun not a pellet gun, the mere carrying of it is not a crime, stupid may be.


Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 1:30 a.m.

The caller said waistband. The police searched and found...(concealed?). The arrest charge was "brandishing". In California "brandishing" means drew or "exhibited" a (not-pellet or bb) weapon in a threatening manor. In Michigan "brandishing" is not defined. The MIgov site offers this as a AG guide "A person when carrying a handgun in a holster in plain view is not waving or displaying the firearm in a threatening manner. Thus, such conduct does not constitute brandishing a firearm..." So basically the fight postering and show of a belted piece simultaneously is being considered as a threatening display of a firearm and thus "brandishing" or a witness saw some gun waving that was not mentioned in the article. MCL 750.234e A 90day misdemeanor.


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 6:43 p.m.

Hey guys, lets not criticize an accurate description of a CO2 pellet or BB-firing gun. They ARE classed as "air guns" even though Earth lacks a 100% CO2 atmosphere. There's enough to criticize in other articles, I think Amy B. deserves some credit for at least looking up what kind of gun and what kind of CO2 cylinders powered it. If she had just used "air gun" or some other generalized term, I'm sure there would have been plenty of experts telling her (and us) this same kind of information. As for the crime: in these days, it's more serious than when I was a boy. Heck, idiot kids then used to actually stage real BB gun fights. The difference was: not even the idiot kids ever thought of using a rimfire or centerfire gun against a human target. I just remembered one of the rules for those fights: no shooting above the legs and then no shooting if the opponent wasn't wearing "BB proof blue jeans." :-)


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 7:13 p.m.

Air soft pistols are not considered a pistol or firearm . Mich AG several years ago wrote an opinion on this.


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 6:29 p.m.

If it was a PELLET gun and not a BB gun it is considered a pistol/firearm in Michigan. Carrying one in your waistband is exactly the same as carrying a Glock (legally). Q: What is a "pistol" under Michigan law? A: A pistol is defined as any firearm 30" in length or less (can include rifles [26"] and shotguns [30"], and pellet or dart guns). A smoothbore gun that shoots only BB's .177 cal or less is not considered a firearm. All pellet guns are firearms. BB guns that shoot pellets or darts as well as BBs are considered firearms. A paint ball pistol is not considered a firearm nor is a USCG approved 12 ga. flare pistol, if used and carried as a signaling device.


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 7:11 p.m.

Thanks Brad for educating the News staff. PS if it is a pellet pistol or has rifling, it must be registered as a pistol.


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 6:22 p.m.

The real issue is that if you imagine yourself standing waiting for a bus, really would you ask what kind of gun he was brandishing? Would you be so afraid of what goes on there that you would quit your job rather than risk waiting there daily for public transportation? It's a disgrace that people cannot use taxpayer funded transportation in Ypsilanti because of some thugs. AATA wants to spend millions on new buildings. Make your transportation safe FIRST.


Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 1:49 p.m.

I concur with Megan. While I'm only a semi-frequent rider, when I have changed buses there during the pre and post work timeframe, I've noticed police cars driving by multiple times and it looked like AATA has a security guard there and just a lot of people beneviolently waiting for their bus.

Megan Turf

Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 1:33 p.m.

Don't over dramatize. I'm a white female and i've used the Pearl bus stop daily for over a year with no problems. Just because a few bad apples cause a scene now and again doesn't make the area unsafe. You can also always wait inside if the "crowd" bothers you.


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 6:57 p.m.

Cash is right.


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 6:48 p.m.

Yes Amy, that was clear. The problem is that you must be standing and waiting at a bus stop to ride a bus. That bus stop has been a mess for a long time. Nothing is done about it. AATA needs to step up and get some order there.

Amy Biolchini

Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 6:45 p.m.

Just to clarify, this incident happened at the bus stop, not on a bus.


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 5:59 p.m.

Federal law requires manufacturers of "look alike" pellet or BB guns to have an orange plug at the end of the barrel or other approved markings that allow the gun to be identified as not a real gun from a distance. Did the gun have those markings? Brian Mackey used to prosecute people who had removed the markings as a gun crime, which is allowed under Michigan law, but he got enough negative feedback that he stopped prosecuting those as gun crimes. Recently, the Michigan legislature passed a law making it a crime to remove those markings.

cornelius McDougenschniefferburgenstein jr. 3 esq.

Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 5:52 p.m.

he is lucky no one there had an unfacsimile gun.


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 5:49 p.m.

"Carbon Dioxide gun"... really? It's called co2 and has no relevance. Wait, let me take a quick drink of dyhydrogen monoxide before I type some more.... It was clearly NOT a carbon dioxide gun. I think the closest thing to a carbon dioxide gun would be a co2 based fire extinguisher. I suspect it was an airsoft gun which would mean it shoots plastic airsoft bbs. While no one cares, airsoft guns can be battery powered, spring powered or gas powered (co2 or other gases). the key here is that it was a toy gun. It would be the same offense if it was a cap gun or carved from a block of wood.


Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 10:32 p.m.

jcj, I am not ignorant and you're not even making a fair comparison. A 650 fps pistol is very overpowered and illegal to shoot within city limits. Your pistol is admittedly a pellet gun which would have a rifled barrel. In that case it's classified as a firearm in the state of michigan and would need to be registered. I can only assume you're versed on the local airgun laws and have registered your FIREARM.... and no, I would not like you to shoot me with your FIREARM. It would also be considered a weapon and not a "facsimile weapon" (as would most actual bb or pellet guns) so the charge would have been "brandishing a weapon" The prior posts identified the "gun" as an AIRSOFT pistol, NOT a BB or pellet gun. Airsoft guns are MEANT to be shot at people. (in controlled and safe circumstances with proper equipment). So your comparison is completely unfair. You also completely missed the two main points. The first is that the author called it a "carbon dioxide gun" which it's not. There is no such thing. As you illustrated yourself, Co2 is the propellant, and guns that use this propellant can fall into many categories ranging from harmless toys to firearms. Also, because the police categorized it as a "facsimile weapon" and not an actual weapon, it presented no actual danger. Just to be clear though, I have no idea why you infer that I thought their activity was ok or shouldn't be punished. I don't care if it was made of rubber, if someone pulls out something that closely resembles a forearm in a public place they should be dealt with accordingly.


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 8:06 p.m.

cryptk Would you be willing to let me shoot you with my c02 powered pistol that shoots pellets at 650 fps? Just to prove your argument. I doubt it. It is ludicrous and irresponsible or ignorant to say it is a toy


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 5:34 p.m.

Carbon dioxide gun - A confusing way to say he had a pellet/BB gun or pistol. One can be purchased for $45 at Meijer on the shelf. You know what Clark Griswald uses to hold up Walley World. Lasky, Guard at Walleyworld: That's not a real gun, is it Clark? Clark: Are you kidding? This is a Magnum P.I. Lasky, Guard at Walleyworld: It's a BB gun! Clark: Don't tempt me. I could put an eye out with this thing. (as evidenced by a recent A2 news story) Lasky, Guard at Walleyworld: You couldn't even break the skin with that thing. The horror.


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 9:15 p.m.

My nephews dentist, found a BB on x-ray lodged in my nephews chin from one of those. He had some explaining to do after his appointment.


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 5:53 p.m.

The first 4-5 shots out of one of those guns on a new cartridge will go through 1/4" plywood.


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 5:53 p.m.

Clark: I could too break the skin. I could break the skin and give you a nasty infection.

Superior Twp voter

Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 5:16 p.m.

Yea, he was contributing to global warming with his carbon dioxide (CO2) gun!


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 5:11 p.m.

So that's what all the yelling was. I thought it was just the usual crowd of Deja Vu enthusiasts.


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 5:02 p.m.

Those guns are called a " airsoft " really not much more than toys but they can look like a real gun


Wed, Mar 6, 2013 : 3:51 a.m.

And they can hurt like heck.

Amy Biolchini

Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 9:51 p.m.

Or even sensationalize, for that matter.

Amy Biolchini

Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 9:50 p.m.

It wasn't my intent to confuse or over-sensationalize with the use of "carbon dioxide gun." For writers, it's more common to use "carbon dioxide" instead of "CO2."


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 9:10 p.m.

Amy why did call it a carbon dioxide gun? Never heard that term before and it made click on the story just to read about some new tech gun. Never mind I just answered my own question.


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 8:01 p.m.

tdw Any pistol that shoots a projectile at between 500-700 fps should not be referred to as a toy.

Amy Biolchini

Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 6:46 p.m.

The police referred to it as a CO2 gun in their report.


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 5:52 p.m.'s proof BTW


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 5:42 p.m.

Tom..... airsofts are powered by various methods including CO2.Get YOUR facts straight


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 5:38 p.m.

Well...this so called "toy" is earning someone charges. Good job police

tom swift jr.

Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 5:36 p.m.

A CO2 gun is very different than an Airsoft gun. Get your facts straight.