In March of 2016, members of Michigan Gun Owners (MGO) and Michigan Open Carry (MOC) were illegally expelled from a booth they had rented at the DeVos Place Convention center. They were ejected because they were openly carrying holstered pistols.
The organizations filed a lawsuit against the DeVos Place Convention Center and its management company for violating Michigan law. On Friday, Judge Joseph Rossi of the Kent County Circuit found for MGO and MOC. It didn’t take long.
The judge listened to the arguments for about an hour, and reviewed the lawsuit. He then issued a summary judgment for the plaintiffs. From mlive.com:
On Friday, attorney Dean Greenblatt, who represents Michigan Open Carry, said a no-concealed carry policy contradicts state law.
He argued that the properties are public and, while organizations leasing them could choose who they invite to a private event, they can’t implement firearm regulations, and public entities cannot enforce them.
After hearing an hour of arguments and reviewing both sides of the lawsuit, Rossi sided with the open-carry advocates. The judge advised that the wording of the venues’ weapons policy should be updated to properly align with Michigan’s state gun laws.
This is example of the importance of being willing to fight to enforce the law. The law may be on your side, but if the local powers that be are willing to flout it, they can succeed in destroying your rights with little effort or consequence.
Second Amendment supporters have had the Constitution on their side since the beginning. After decades of erosion through legislation, supporters ultimately built the organizations and communications networks to elect responsive politicians, pass laws and strengthen state constitutions. Now supporters are in the process of enforcing the laws that they’ve gotten passed.
Suppressing open carry is primarily aimed at suppressing strong, symbolic, political, speech. People who see a person unapologeticly carrying a firearm learn an important lesson. The right to bear arms exists, is exercised safely and is enforced. The state has limits to its power.
Those are powerful messages in Michigan and over all of the country.
©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.