Flint, MI makes a smart call on armed citizens

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

I get the argument about sensitive places. I don’t necessarily agree, but I get the idea and after Bruen, sensitive places can ban the carrying of firearms within those locations.


But the city of Flint, Michigan has a different view.

You see, there’s no one who agrees with the idea of sensitive places who will say a city council meeting doesn’t qualify. You’ve got a lot of public officials standing up there, sitting ducks for whatever depraved madman might have planned.

Except, of course, that such a thing just hasn’t ever happened, even in states where they don’t keep guns out.

And I guess someone in Flint recognized that fact because they’re not going to keep concealed carriers from taking their guns into council meetings.

Flint residents may set off a new metal detector in City Hall if they are carrying a gun, but police won’t try to stop them from attending city council meetings if their weapons are licensed and registered.

Mayor Sheldon Neeley told MLive-The Flint Journal this week that he’s arranged for a metal detector to be in place for council committee meetings on Wednesday, Oct. 18, because of rising political tensions and recent threats against public officials.

But Neeley said in advance of the meetings that the walk-through detector will be used as a tool for police — not an excuse to keep those legally carrying guns from attending.

“The metal detectors will allow the officers onsite to be aware of any weapons present in the council chambers. Pursuant to law, any person legally carrying a licensed and registered weapon will not be prevented from entering,” the mayor said in a statement to The Journal.

“Metal detectors are commonplace in schools, hospitals, and airports,” Neeley said Wednesday. “We have seen shootings in public places across our nation, and metal detectors allow us to be aware of weapons present in our environment. This is a proactive move to provide a safer environment.”


I have no problem with this, really.

The alternative would be to keep guns out of the room entirely and that would ultimately be an infringement of people’s Second Amendment rights, even if Bruen does permit such an infringement.

But the metal detector isn’t meant to stop anyone from carrying.

Oh, I know that it does alert people to the fact that someone is carrying a firearm, and I’m a big fan of not tipping your hand when you’re carrying a gun, but let’s remember where Flint could have taken this. It was either this or they just ban guns in the building, which they could probably get away with legally.

This way, at least, people in Flint can carry their firearms to and from a city council meeting. While it’s unlikely they’ll need it in the meeting itself, they’re more likely to face violent crime going to and from such a thing. This allows them to carry a firearm then and not put themselves in a bad position.

Flint is making the right move, all things considered, and I wish more places would at least consider such a compromise.

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