This comes as quite a surprise considering the stigma that politicians and media have placed on guns in recent years, especially in the context of guns in “gun-free” schools.
A Michigan dad who’s got a concealed carry permit and who prefers to open carry his pistol on his hip had been barred entry into his daughter’s school several times because of the gun on him when he came to pick her up. State law allows those with concealed carry permits to carry even in school “safety zones.”
When he had been barred from picking up his daughter several times because of his open carried handgun, he decided to sue the school district. And the judge ruled in his favor. Detroit Free Press reported:
Circuit Judge Archie Hayman on Monday ruled in favor of Kenneth Herman and the gun-rights advocacy group Michigan Open Carry. Herman filed a lawsuit in March against the Clio district, arguing he was denied access to Edgerton Elementary multiple times while trying to pick up his daughter because he was carrying his pistol openly.
State law allows people with concealed-pistol licenses to carry their firearms openly in schools. But Tim Mullins, the Troy attorney for the Clio district, said state law also allows school districts to establish policies regarding the “safety and protection of students.”
“If I’m a principal and I’m sitting in my office and I see someone walking up to my building with a gun, what am I supposed to do?” Mullins asked. “What they do is declare a lockdown, they call the police. Kids are afraid. Teachers are afraid. Education stops. And then the police come.”
[Judge] Hayman sided with Herman and his advocates, saying the ability to create local weapons policies is beyond the district’s authority.
If the law allows open carry in schools by concealed carry permit holders, and it allows schools to enact policies for the “safety and protection of students,” then whatever policy schools come up with can’t contradict the other law that protects gun owners. That means they can’t bar a parent from picking up his daughter just because he has a gun on his hip.
The judge ruled rightly in this case. I’m sure the dad is legitimately concerned for his daughter’s safety, and that’s the reason he carries. If more law-abiding people, including teachers and parents, carried openly (or concealed) in schools, schools would be much safer places.