Gun Rights Win In Michigan: Judge Rules Open Carry Legal In Schools

Tara Dodrill

A gun-free zone challenge in Michigan has ended, with the judge ruling in the favor of the father who wanted to open carry at his daughter's school. Kenneth Herman sued the school district in Clio when he was not permitted to go into the building to pick his daughter up on multiple occasions, according to a report by the Detroit Free Press.

Michigan law permits individuals with a concealed carry permit to be present on school property. The state statute reportedly played a significant role in Judge Archie Hayman's decision to side with the open carry dad.

"I think schools being gun free zones is not a wise idea," Kenneth Herman said during an interview with WOOD-TV. "I think having law-abiding armed citizens in there provides some measure of protection that isn't a glass door that can be broken out."

Clio school district attorney, Tim Mullins, unsuccessfully argued that the Michigan concealed carry law also affords schools the ability to create policies for the "safety and protection of students." Both the Michigan Open Carry group, which represented Herman, and the open carry dad himself expect the district to appeal the court's decision.

School district superintendent Fletcher Spears, who reportedly has a concealed carry permit, does not agree with the judge's ruling.

"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," Spears said. "Open carry does not have a place in the schools."

Attorney Mullins referenced the confusion and fear he claims would occur when school staff spot an individual openly carrying a gun inside a school.

"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?" Mullins added. "What they do is declare a lockdown, they call the police. Kids are afraid. Teachers are afraid. Education stops. And then the police come."

Second Amendment advocates are heralding the open carry ruling.

"This was clearly an easy decision for the Judge to make based on the speed of the ruling," a release from Michigan Open Carry said. "We citizens are expected to follow the law. It's sad a school district with a team of lawyers did everything they could to try and find a way around the law. We are very happy with this verdict and are prepared to defend it in the Court of Appeals if need be."

What do you think about the judge's decision to allow both concealed carry and open carry guns in schools?

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