David Hulings, Soccer Coach at Muskegon Western Michigan Christian (courtesy mlive.com)

“A man who openly carried a holstered gun at a high school soccer game Thursday led Muskegon Western Michigan Christian leaders to halt the contest against Hudsonville Freedom Christian with 30 minutes remaining,” highschoolsports.mlive.com reports. “The man, whose identity was not immediately available, was spotted with the weapon by a Warriors assistant coach, who alerted head coach David Hulings [above] and assistant athletics director Fred VandenBrand. VandenBrand asked the man to leave, but he refused. Instead, he apparently took the firearm to his car and left it there before returning to the stands. His presence, and the uncertainty if the gun was still being carried, resulted in the game being stopped with 15 minutes into the second half . . . ‘Although I personally have no objection to, and do support, his right to carry [Hulings said], the school also has a right under the law to ask him to leave.’ . . .

VandenBrand said an officer told him that the private school had a right to ask the man to leave, and that the scenario is unprecedented in his career.

“Talking to the officer…we had a right to ask him to leave, and if he returned without meeting our conditions, he could be charged with trespassing,” he said.

“I agree with our coach 100 percent. The safety of our players and students is our highest priority and our coach did the right thing in making sure our players and the fans were going to be safe before anything else.”

Note: as many of our commentators pointed out in this morning’s post about the fall and fall of Detroit, Wolverine State residents have the right to open carry. More details here as they come in.

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70 Responses to Open Carry Stops MI High School Soccer Game

  1. IDK what the laws are in MI but down here in KY open carry is allowed anywhere unless otherwise posted, i would be very surprised if it wasnt posted at a school.

    • I don’t think it matters. If its private school property – they can make up policy on the spot. And while I think this was clearly an over-reaction, it is well within their right, as i understand the situation.

    • MI is not required to listen to signs.they must physically ask you not to have it.

      Even if….public schools are preempted under mcl 123.1102 which was reinforced by cadl v. Moc

      They are listed as a state pistol free zone but that only applies to concealed carry. Msp legal update 86 states it is legal for a cpl holder to carry openly in most of these areas.

      A public entity asking a carrier abiding by state law is breaking the law by asking them to leave.

      • thank you, i had no idea what the laws are like up there and wanted to refrain from jumping on the gun owners side like i normally do.

        • From the earlier post about Detroit, as referenced by RF, it’s pretty obvious that even most Michigan residents don’t know or understand the law. But as I pointed out in a comment, what is the value of legal open carry if every time you do you run into these sorts of situations? There is more than one way to disarm a populace, and making the exercise of an otherwise unfettered right onerous and logistically impossible is just one of those ways.

          They asked him to leave, and he did, leaving his pistol in his car. He came back without it and they still got their panties in a bunch. Sometimes you just can’t make them happy AND go about your normal business.

        • “what is the value of legal open carry if every time you do you run into these sorts of situations? There is more than one way to disarm a populace, and making the exercise of an otherwise unfettered right onerous and logistically impossible is just one of those ways.”

          Exactly! That’s also what’s happening with First Amendment.

        • The CADL ruling does not say that. That’s like saying a developer that takes CDBG money for a business center is subject to all the same requirements and restrictions as a municipal entity, and that’s not the case and it never has been. You should really read the CADL case and understand the terms being used.

    • Bias and propaganda. Quit trying to start infighting with others who are pro-gun. Do you really think we will maintain our rights by fighting a war between OC and CC people? This game was not stopped by Open Carry. It was stopped by a hoplophobic coach.

  2. Wolverine State residents do NOT have a right to carry a weapon in direct violation of the property owners’ consent,which in this case was via a school representative.

    • You are mistaken, public schools are preempted(mcl 123.1102) since they are a quasi municipal authority, as was ruled in Cadl. V. Moc

      They were actually breaking the law by asking him to leave or even put it away.

      See msp legal update 86 for info on open carry in so called pistol free zones.

        • Depends, if they get even one dime of tax money it could be argued its public, it was successfully argued in cadl v. Moc that if they get any public money at all its public for the purpose of carrying firearms

      • You’re not reading, but commenting. Since when are Christian schools a gov’t run school that would be subject to preemption?

  3. We can open carry in schools with a cpl.

    We also have preemption, mcl. 123.1102

    CADL v. MOC(which came to be In part with help of yours truly) ruled that quasi municipal authorities(that would be public schools and libraries and such) are subject to preemption.

    Basically if your there with peaceful intentions,they are breaking the law by making you leave.

    • Given that these are both Christan schools, and most certainly not a taxing district or gov’t agency, their property is without a doubt private property and they can ask/demand him to leave for any reason or no reason at all.

        • That’s a lame argument that holds about a much water as a screen door. The CADL ruling hinged on the library being a municipal authority established by a taxing municipalities and its board members selected by the municipalities. It was just an extension of the local government. Courts all over the county have held that municipal authorities are an extension of local government and are held to the same standards as local gov’t,

      • IDK about that, but the Federal GFSZ Act is very clear – public or private, guns are verboten with limited exceptions. OC is not an exception unless the guy was a LEO. They could have easily hauled him off to jail.

    • This doesn’t sound like an open carry advocate per se. Just some guy open carrying who was told to stash it who stashed it and then “caused” the game to stop. However, there’s always a story behind the story.

      • How ever, when he was asked to leave he refused. Now, there’s a real winner. You’re on private property and you refuse to leave. In PA, that becomes a chargeable offense after the verbal request to leave and the ensuing refusal to do so.

        • Apparently he was asked to leave BECAUSE OF his open carry of the pistol (setting aside for now whether that was a legal request or not). He DID leave, and came back without the pistol, which was the reason he was asked to leave in the first place. Being private property the coach may or may not have been within his legal rights to once again ask this man to leave, and his failure to obey that request might then rise to the level of trespass, but the obvious disconnect here is in the coach’s justification for the second demand.

          It’s not like the guy showed up with a scoped rifle or even a shotgun that could be consider a risk to players or spectators, so can we lighten up on the “Damned Open-Carriers” responses? He was being a responsible citizen and legally carrying his pistol in a holster fully within the laws of Michigan. He was not trying to make a scene or a video for YouTube hits or even to just make a point. When asked to leave he did. It was the coaching staff that turned this into a media event by pushing the point, not the open carrier.

        • Given that’s it’s private property, the reason for the demand is immaterial. One does not need a reason to ask someone to leave private property.

        • BS If you are holding a public event your panty wetting desires do not trump anyone’s Natural Rights.

        • Sorry there neiowa, it actually does. You’re still on private property and you don’t have a legal leg to stand on if you’re asked to leave and you don’t leave.

    • How is it negative? Guy was nice and polite and even voluntarily disarmed when it became an issue. The staff overreacted

      • You’re asked to leave private property and you don’t. How about I set up camp in your front yard and then refuse to leave when asked. It’s really not a whole lot different.

        • Depending generally on whether or not I frequently allow the public to camp in my front yard and then just choose to evict you because you make me “uncomfortable”. Once you have removed the object (in this case) that made me uncomfortable it becomes difficult to justify continuing my prejudice against you, even if I have the legal right to do so.

        • Again Cliff, when it’s private property one does not need to justify his/her decision to ask you to leave. It really doesn’t matter what you think your rights may or may not be, private property rights trump pretty much everything. You don’t have constitutional rights on private property nor can the property owner violate your constitutional rights.

          This is a common theme with the OC crowed. They fail to understand or recognize that property owners have the ultimate rights. If I want to ask you to leave because I don’t like the color of your shirt, I most certainly can and you have no recourse. If you refuse to leave, I can use force to make your leave or I can have you arrested for defiant trespass and in some states I can file that charge myself. Furthermore, any future attempt to return to the property would subject you to another arrest and any threats towards the property owner would, in this state, escalate the charges to an M1 crime which also happens to be a federal disqualifier for owning/possessing/using a firearm.

        • Andy you are WRONG.

          You CHOOSE to host a public event then it is a public event. Your dislike of ________ does not trump anyone’s Natural Right. That is why it is a Natural Right

        • Andy, I’m not saying (I’m pretty sure I didn’t say) that there is no legal right to ask me/him/you to leave, only that it becomes difficult to justify that demand. The law may not require you to justify the request, but common courtesy and common sense must come into play somewhere in the discussion. I think the gun guy acted reasonably and the coach over-reacted when he returned, but I do think he should have left again at that point. After calling the coach a hopolophobic a$$hole.

          And as noted above, I believe that private property or not the fact that you have invited the public does present some requirement that you have a valid reason for the ejection. No shoes, no shirt, no service. Okay, valid points, but if I go back to my car and put on shoes and a shirt and come back in, can you still claim that I cannot enter because I was asked to leave once before, even if that reason no longer applies? Same thing happened here, IMO.

        • So again, neiowa. You’re just wrong. Whatever rights you think you have they don’t trump private property rights. It doesn’t matter if the event is open to the public or not, if you’re asked to leave, the property owner does not need to give your a reason nor are they required to have a reason.

          Guys like you, are why the OC crowed is failing so big. You want to jump all over a concept that has no legal standing and never has. You don’t get to muscle your way into the stores and property of others and claim to have some natural right to be there and refuse to leave.

        • Okay Cliff.

          “I believe that private property or not the fact that you have invited the public does present some requirement that you have a valid reason for the ejection.”
          Show me where it say this in MI law or the statues of any other state. What you believe and what the law says are not the same in this case.

          “only that it becomes difficult to justify that demand.”
          Show me where it says in MI law or the statues of any other state where I’d be required to justify my request.

          “but I do think he should have left again at that point. After calling the coach a hopolophobic a$$hole.”
          Is the name calling part of the OC education campaign?

    • It is true that because of the differences in wording between the open carry pistol free zone law and the concealed carry pistol free zone law that technically a CPL holder CAN open carry in a school. There is even a Michigan State Police opinion stating that to be true.

      However, an MSP position is not legally binding and as far as I know a case has never been tried….and I don’t want to be the guinea pig.

  4. If it was IN Muskegon, I can see a desire for him to be armed. The gang activity has been steadily growing and the locals like to stick their heads in the sand about it.

  5. I would never openly carry to a game. thats just dumb. with that said, in nh we cant carry closer than 300ft of a school zone either. Even if i could you asking for trouble carrying open.

  6. I’m not against open carry per se — I’d love it if we got back to the ethic where openly armed means honestly armed — but given the times we live in, it seems painfully obvious that a high school game is not a good place for it.

  7. Yes don’t carry openly where it would be in question. It says that he did take it to his car and leave it there… So WHY would they still want to make him leave, sounds like some peranoid libs. then that is backed up by their statement after the game was stopped…
    “I agree with our coach 100 percent. The safety of our players and students is our highest priority and our coach did the right thing in making sure our players and the fans were going to be safe before anything else.”

    WHEN will people realize that having an armed “good citizen” around is MUCH SAFER than making sure that NOBODY is armed – of course except for the deranged madman who will bring a weapon in and start shooting with NO ONE to stop him until he runs out of ammo?

    the situation could have been handled MUCH better by ALL parties involved I agree but there SHOULD have NEVER been an issue in the first place!

  8. Michigan does have open carry, but if it is a private school, they can ask him to leave. What bothers me is them getting their panties in a bunch about it. Seems like the coaches need to grow a pair and tell the whiners to go sit down to piss.

  9. the coach is a moron. if the guy was such a danger he’d have been talking to news reporters about the body count not his hoplophobia. People seem to love to be victims and worse, try to make everyone else into one.

  10. According to the back of my MI CPL there are a few places you can’t carry, concealed or openly.
    -School or school property
    -Child care or day care center, child caring institution, or child placing agency
    -Sports arena or stadium
    -Bar/tavern where sale and consumption of liquor is the primary source of income
    -Church, synagogue, mosque, temple, or other place of worship (unless you specifically are allowed by officials)
    -Entertainment facility with a seating capacity of 2,500 or more
    -Hospital
    -Dormitory or classroom of community college, college, or university
    -Casino
    There are some other places as well that are not listed on the card,
    -Government building or space primarily reserved for government workers
    -Courthouses
    -Any facility that prominently displays “No Weapons” signage.
    Parking lots of these premises are considered “safe havens”, you may store weapons in your vehicle.

    I’m pretty sure he violated the first category on that list.

  11. Those coaches are idiots. Anyone could have been at that game carrying a gun. What is in place to stop a crazy person intent on shooting up the place? Is a crazy person not going to murder a bunch of innocent people because he was asked to leave. The coaches logic, along with the logic of many here is lacking.

  12. Not good. Last time around, the disarmament crowd divided us with relative ease over hunting. This time, open carry is going to make us divide ourselves.

  13. In a just world, some crazed lunatic would come by and slaughter everyone in attendance 5 minutes after the guy left. WTF is wrong with a person’s brain that makes them feel safer with no protection?

    • Hmm, I don’t view that as a just world. Tragedy on their side does not make for a cause for celebration on our side. Implied hostility is what caused this incident in the first place. Gun owners need to be seen as rational and compassionate at all times, parallel to the (true) Christian values. I don’t think if that even happened they would glean that lesson from it, they would decry the evils of guns or any weapon instead of the cause or think to talk about proactive ways to deter and stop violence and crime. The victim complex has no place for personal responsibility, find something, it’s best if that something is inanimate, and blame it so you can feign control and don’t have to question anything, especially their own preconceptions or opinions.

      But really, that guy could have become upset the score didn’t turn out the way he wanted and gone crazy. That happens all the time right? /s

      • I heard a funny story recently I think some here would appreciate. Four of our Church leaders were scouting a location for a potential mission trip and they happened to be pulled over. The cop got one driver’s license, one registration, and three CPLs. Not all churches are anti-gun, although I doubt anyone at either of those Christian churches knows what the Bible actually says on the matter.

      • It sickens me when “Christians” rally against the second amendment (almost as much as when the media does the same thing). Picking and choosing which parts of the bill of rights you support is the height of hypocrisy.

    • Ahh, now Layne brings out the slaughter of the opposition viewpoint.

      Now what was it, what was that oh-so-awful tweet that had the gun-rights movement up in arm?

      Oh yes!

      It was an gun-control academic calling for the slaughter of the children of NRA members.

      http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2013/09/daniel-zimmerman/ku-journalism-prof-hopes-nra-members-children-next-victims/

      Either choose a stronger argument or skulk back into your cave. I want no part of your theoretical slaughter of anybody.

  14. It SICKENS me when “Jews”rally against the second amendment (almost as much as when the media does the same thing). Picking and choosing which parts of the bill of rights you support is the height of hypocrisy. Seems antigun “Jews” are far more overrepresented than antigun “Christians” in positions of governmental authority.

  15. I do believe the soccer field could also be loosely viewed as a “sports arena” and this man could have been charged under MI penal code 750.234d.

    • Unless you think all open carriers are idiots, you’re out of line. This guy did nothing wrong at all.

      And if you think all open carriers are idiots, you’re still out of line.

  16. “I agree with our coach 100 percent. The safety of our players and students is our highest priority and our coach did the right thing in making sure our players and the fans were going to be safe before anything else.”

    The coach has no responsibility for safety of the fans. What was the coach doing to make the women in the bleachers safe from her stalker? Oh I know, he told her to leave her gun at home and assured her that he would tell her stalker the same thing which would make her safe. Not.

    As for safety of the players … does the coach forbid his players from heading the ball? After all repeated trauma to the head causes long term brain damage. No? Then how can he claim that safety of the players is his highest priority?

  17. People in that part of Michigan are probably pretty touchy about openly carried firearms right now because of the shooting of Michigan State Trooper Paul Butterfield.

    Granted, the shooter, was a 19 year-old punk and the OC’er could have been the Pope, but in the general public’s eye, they were pretty much the same.

    And IMNSHO, the OC’er was in the wrong here. Not for the OC, but for the refusing to leave. You don’t advance CCW/OC by being a dick. And stopping the game was overreacting.

    • They were wrong to ask him to leave. He refused to leave entirely, instead storing the weapon in his vehicle. They weren’t objecting to his presence, they were objecting to the presence of the gun. If he had left for a half hour, gone all the way home, left the gun there, and come back (or said he did all those things), would he have then been welcomed back, or would they still have stopped the game? If he wasn’t allowed to come back for that game, would he have been allowed at the next one? Where do you draw the line? He was acting within his rights, and they were overzealous and stupid.

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