Several Michigan school districts have asserted a right to establish gun-free school zones in their school buildings, but they may not have that right under Michigan law.
Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Archie Hayman ruled that Kenneth Herman, whose daughter attends Edgerton Elementary School in Clio, Mich., can carry his licensed pistol openly inside her school, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Even though Michigan’s law gives him that right and I’m a big supporter of the Second Amendment, including the introductory clause, I still think the state has a clear and important interest here in protecting students inside schools from crazed gunmen, who look exactly like Mr Herman to school officials and kids.
“If I’m a principal and I’m sitting in my office and I see someone walking up to my building with a gun, what am I supposed to do?” USA Today quoted Tim Mullins, an attorney for the Clio Area School District as saying. “What they do is declare a lockdown, they call the police. Kids are afraid. Teachers are afraid. Education stops. And then the police come.”
Mr Herman was joined in his lawsuit by Michigan Open Carry, a gun-rights advocacy group. They filed suit because Mr Herman had been denied entry into the school several times.
Several other districts in Michigan, including Ann Arbor, have also been sued for trying to impose their own gun policies on Michigan citizens.
Dean G Greenblatt, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said, “Mr Herman was licensed to do what he did under state law, but the school district said, ‘No, we’re going to come up with a policy, a regulation that is more restrictive than state law.’ That, they of course can’t do.”
At this point, the court has agreed with his argument, but the board for the Clio Area School District voted 6-0 to appeal the decision to the Michigan Court of Appeals.
Superintendent Fletcher Spears asked state lawmakers to clarify the law that allows some people to carry guns openly on school property. “The Legislature needs to step up and get the focus on education, and not on some guy who wants to carry a gun in a school,” he was quoted as saying.