Rift Emerges Among Gun Owners Over Concealing Weapons in Schools, the headline at The New York Times [gleefully?] proclaims. The story details Michiganders’ fight over gun rights within the state’s pubic schools. In this corner, we have gun owners like Kenneth Herman [above] who wants to open carry in schools (as is their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right). In that corner, we have gun control advocates who want a total gun ban in schools (because guns). In this corner, we have gun owners who want to be able to carry concealed in schools, who are OK with a ban on open carry in schools. The antis are the antis. But where do you stand on open vs. concealed in schools? Before you answer, check out the horse trading going on in the Mitten State . . .
Michigan law on weapons in schools is complex, and to some extent unsettled. Like many states, Michigan bans concealed guns at schools, libraries, sports arenas and other places. But the judge in the Clio case found that residents can take handguns into those spaces provided they carry them openly and have concealed pistol licenses.
Another Michigan judge, however, found just the opposite, ruling that the Ann Arbor schools acted legally in banning openly carried guns inside their buildings.
State Senator Arlan Meekhof, a Republican with a concealed pistol license who said he carries a weapon “all the time, except in schools,” is trying to resolve the conflict. He has sponsored legislation that would prohibit open carry on school campuses and require schools to allow concealed carry on their campuses for permit holders who seek an exemption.
Ah an “exemption.” So Michiganders seeking to conceal carry at school would have to ask the state’s permission to exercise their gun rights twice. It would kinda be like double-secret probation, only the reverse.
The legislation would apply to schools covering kindergarten through 12th grade, and seeks to extend concealed-carry rights to colleges, bars, day care centers and other areas where such guns are currently restricted. The legality of guns on public college campuses remains murky: The University of Michigan bans weapons on its property, but that policy has been challenged in court. Under the bill, private businesses could still restrict guns on their property.
So the deal here adds campus carry to the mix to sweeten the pot for those who oppose the bill because of the open carry prohibition. Politics, eh?
Though Mr. Meekhof said he generally supported open-carry rights, and though many gun owners alternate between concealed and open carry depending on the setting, he said classrooms deserved special protection from the distraction that openly carried firearms might cause.
“Someone exercising their right causes a disruption in education of our kids,” added Mr. Meekhof, the Senate majority leader. “I’m trying to find a way where people can still exercise their constitutional rights and not have the sight of a gun cause the school to lock everybody down.”
Don’t scare the
horses students! Better they remain oblivious to guns that are around them, right? What’s your take on all this?