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The Law Blogger is a law-related blog that informs and discusses current matters of legal interest to readers of The Oakland Press and to consumers of legal services in the community. We hope readers will  find it entertaining but also informative. The Law Blogger does not, however, impart legal advice, as only attorneys are licensed to provide legal counsel.
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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Michigan Legislature Looking to Ban Open-Carry in Schools

There is a little-known loophole in our gun laws that allows a person that has a concealed pistol license (CPL) to openly carry a firearm into a school, provided the weapon is visibly holstered.  Given recent headlines, State Representative Andy Schor, (D Lansing), is attempting to close this loophole with House Bill 4104.

Hopefully, these terrible headlines will render the state gun lobby ineffective, and HB 4104 gets passed and signed by Governor Rick Snyder.  Who could forget last December when the Governor, on the eve of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, was poised to sign gun legislation that would have broadened and strengthened weapon possession laws, but had a change-of-heart and vetoed the bill.

The open-carry in schools exception came crashing into the media headlights last February when Nicholas Looman, a CPL holder, open carried his pistol into an elementary school in Grand Rapids in order to vote in an election.  He was allowed to vote, then escorted off school grounds and later briefly detained.

Obviously, the 25-year old was looking to make a point.  In the end, the Kent County Prosecutor took a pass on prosecuting Looman, saying he technically complied with state law.  A CPL holder can open-carry a weapon in a public school, day care center or public hospital provided the weapon is visible.

With the recent national headlines as a backdrop, the gun debate has been renewed in Lansing.  Schor's proposed legislation is competing with a senate proposal sponsored by Senator Mike Green (R-Mayville).  It was Senator Green's bill (vetoed SB 59, which now has been re-introduced as SB 112) that was sitting on Governor Snyder's desk when the Newtown shootings broke-out.

We here at the Law Blogger cannot help but conclude that when we enter certain public places, such as schools, day care centers and hospitals, we just need to leave our guns at home.  Along these lines, we hope that Representative Schor's bill will pass the Legislature and be signed by Governor Snyder, and that Senator Green and company goes away.

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