Unfortunately, some school districts in Michigan don’t want to abide by state laws (MCL 123.1101[a] and MCL 123.1102) that preempt them from regulating firearms. But perhaps a recent decision finding against a school will change some such policies.
The case stems from an incident in which Kenneth Herman was denied access multiple times to Edgerton Elementary School to pick up his daughter because he was open-carrying a firearm, despite the fact that state law specifically allows for such carry.
On August 10, Michigan Open Carry, Inc. (MOC) and Kenneth Herman won a decision in Genesee County Circuit Court against the Clio Area School District.
MOC and Herman asserted that “CASD’s weapons policy is in direct contravention with State statute at MCL 28.425o(1)(a) which specifically permits possession of concealed weapons at a school or on school property under certain circumstances.”
“State Law specifically permits possession of concealed weapons at a school or on school property when carried in accordance with the requirements of MCL 28.425o(1)(a). CASD’s weapons policy ignores that provision and introduces their own ban on such possession. As such, the CASD weapons policy is preempted by the state statutory scheme.”
Genesee Circuit Judge Archie Hayman agreed with Herman and MOC’s argument that the school district didn’t have the ability to create local weapon policies beyond state guidelines, which allow open carry of firearms on school grounds for those with a Concealed Pistol License (“CPL”). The law does not, however, permit the concealed carry of handguns on school property.
The district had argued that state law allows districts to enact policies to safeguard students and, therefore, allows them to institute firearm bans. But, Hayman sided with Herman and Michigan Open Carry’s argument that the ability to create local weapon policies is beyond the legal authority of the school district. Its attempt to do so intrudes upon the lawmaking authority of the state, which has created laws to allow open carry of firearms on school grounds for those who possess a valid CPL.
Michigan Open Carry President Tom Lambert said, “We expect that Clio Area Schools will appeal the decision to the Michigan Court of Appeals — as they indicated they would earlier in the case. Assuming the Court of Appeals upholds today’s decision, it will set binding precedent on the issue state wide.”
Other Michigan gun laws of interest:
- MCL 237a and MCL 28.425o
- Michigan Attorney General Opinion 7113
- Michigan State Police Legal Update 86
Open carry on elementary school grounds – good or bad idea?