A Michigan father who was repeatedly denied entrance to his daughter’s school when open carried a pistol in a holster on his hip has won a lawsuit against the Clio school district.
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.”
In matters of law, a more specific law almost always trumps a vague generality, and the district’s whine of “but we can do anything as long as we say it’s for student safety” fell flat with the judge, who ruled that a school district cannot enact policies that violate state law allowing licensed concealed carriers to open carry firearms into schools.
Many people did not apparently appreciate the judge’s ruling leading to several outraged articles like this one:
There is no question that when America has decided that the rights of a few gun lovers usurp the safety of its children, the country has crossed the Rubicon into a whole new level of gun insanity. Unfortunately, a Michigan judge just waded through those very waters.
After a protracted battle between a gun nut parent and common sense, Michigan Circuit Judge Archie Hayman ruled for the former. He found that Kenneth Herman was legally allowed to open carry his pistol into his daughter’s elementary school in the town of Clio regardless of whether the administration or other parents didn’t want him too.
And in a way, Herman does prove one thing — Michigan’s gun laws are insane. They are so lax, in fact, that a guy like Herman has grounds to legally overrule an entire school district’s gun-free policy because “freedom.” Michigan is among a growing number of Republican-controlled states that envision a country where hundreds of millions of “good guys with guns” can take their firearms anywhere — churches, schools, bars, parks, government buildings — to shoot the hypothetical bad guys. Opponents argue that these roving “good guys” can very quickly turn into “bad guys” and adding more guns to a volatile situation won’t help matters. These legitimate concerns are all but ignored.
And so here’s what’s going to happen.
The school district is going to appeal the case. The majority of outraged parents—who outnumber the few in favor of Herman open carrying in school—are going to push the legislature to write a law removing what they consider an “open carry loophole.”
They’re going to have tremendous support in the media for this change, and they’re going to have the support of most of the community, including a sizable percentage of gun owners that don’t want some guy they don’t know open carrying a gun in their kid’s school.
Whether or not there is going to be enough political will to change the state law allowing open carry in Michigan schools isn’t something I’m capable of gauging, but it’s clear that the battle is coming.