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Possession Of A Gun On Municipal Property

The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled that a local school district may adopt a policy that prohibits the possession of a firearm on school property. The outcome of the case was in doubt considering prior appellate court rulings that a municipality may not establish gun-free zones on municipal property

The basis for earlier rulings that address possession of a gun on public property is three-fold. First, by statute a municipality is prohibited from regulating guns by local ordinance.  Second, by statute a person with a concealed pistol license may carry a concealed pistol anywhere in the state except on certain premises. Third, because there’s no statute prohibiting open possession of a firearm, a firearm may be openly carried anywhere in the state with certain exceptions. The applicable law, from several sources, distinguishes between types of premises and sets different rules for concealed versus open possession and for members of the public versus municipal employees. What follows is an outline summary of the current state of the law (October 2018) on possession of a firearm on municipal property.

Members Of The Public On Municipal Property

  Concealed Carry

  • A person with a concealed pistol license (CPL) may carry a concealed pistol anywhere in this state except on certain premises.
  • The list of premises where a concealed pistol may not be carried includes day care centers, schools, taverns, places of religious worship, sports arenas, and others.
  • Because that list of premises does not include municipal buildings, a member of the public with a CPL may carry a concealed pistol in any municipal building.

    Open Carry

  • There is no state statute that addresses “open” possession of a gun.  Therefore, a person, with or without a CPL, may open carry in a public place as long as the person is carrying with a lawful intent and the firearm is not concealed, except on certain premises.
  • Because the open carry list of excepted premises does not include municipal buildings (except for courts), a member of the public, with or without a CPL, may open carry in any municipal building.
  • A person with a CPL may open carry anywhere in this state, including in day care centers, taverns, places of religious worship, sports arenas, and other listed locations.

    Court Rooms and Court Offices

  • A member of the public may not possess a weapon, open or concealed, in any courtroom or other space used for official court business unless that court’s chief judge of the court has given prior approval under a written policy of the court.

    Municipal Employees On Municipal Property

  • An employer, any employer, may prohibit an employee from carrying a concealed pistol “in the course of his or her employment with that employer.”
  • A city, village, township or county may prohibit “the transportation, carrying or possession of firearms by its employees “in the course of their employment with that local unit of government.”
  • Like members of the public, a judicial employee may not possess a weapon, open or concealed, in any courtroom or other space used for official court business unless permitted by the chief judge under a written policy of the court./

Get Started Today: Schedule Your Consultation!

If you would like to learn more about concealed or open carry gun laws or municipal law services at PSED Law, contact us today! Schedule an initial consultation. 734-665-4441

[1]Michigan Gun Owners, Inc. v. Ann Arbor Public SchoolsandMichigan Open Carry, Inc. v. Clio Area School District, 2018 Mich LEXIS 1568.

[1]MCL 123.1102 and Michigan Coalition for Responsible Ownership v. City of Ferndale, 256 Mich App 401 (2003)

[1]MCL 28.425c(3)(a) & (b)

[1]MCL 28.425o(1)

[1]MCL 28.425o(1):  a school or school property, child care center, sports arena or stadium, a bar or tavern licensed by the Liquor Control Commission, any property or facility owned by a church, synagogue, mosque, temple, or other place of worship, unless permitted by the presiding official of the religious entity, an entertainment facility with a seating capacity of 2,500 or more, hospital, dormitory or classroom of a community college, college or university, not including the parking area of these premises.

[1]MCL 750.226 (lawful intent); MCL 28.425c(3)(a) & (b) (concealed carry anywhere, except on certain premises); and MCL 750.234d, a Penal Code section that makes it a crime to possess a weapon on the premises of:  a bank or credit union, a church or other place of worship, a court, a theater, a sports arena, a day care center, a hospital, or an establishment licensed by the Liquor Control Commission.

[1]Capital Area District Library v Michigan Open Carry, Inc., 298 Mich App 220 (2012)

[1]MCL 750.234d(2)(1)

[1]Supreme Court Administrative Order 2001-1

[1]MCL 28.245n(2)

[1]MCL 123.1103(b)

[1]Supreme Court Administrative Order 2001-1

[1]Federal laws regulate the buying, selling, manufacture and taxation of firearms; licensure of firearm vendors; and require background checks on gun purchases, with exception. Federal laws prohibit the sale of a gun to a convicted felon and those under age 21, and ban the sale of certain automatic firearms.  Firearms are banned in all federal facilities, with exceptions for police and military officers.  In 2008, in District of Columbia v Heller, the U.S. Supreme Court held, for the first time, that the Second Amendment conferred a constitutional right to possess a firearm in one’s home for lawful purposes such as self-defense within the home.

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