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Michigan school districts may ban guns, state Supreme Court rules

Michigan school districts can ban firearms on campus, the state's Supreme Court ruled Friday.State law allows ...

Posted: Jul 29, 2018 6:24 PM
Updated: Jul 29, 2018 6:24 PM

Michigan school districts can ban firearms on campus, the state's Supreme Court ruled Friday.

State law allows people with concealed firearms permits to bring guns onto school property, but at least two districts enacted policies banning weapons.

Separate lawsuits were filed by firearm advocacy groups against the Ann Arbor and Clio school districts.

On Friday, four of seven justices ruled in the schools' favor.

"We feel like it's a great day for Michigan children," Jeanice Swift, superintendent of the Ann Arbor Public Schools, said. Swift said the policy, which is tied to a city ordinance about school disruptions, was enacted after someone legally carried a gun into a choir concert in March 2015.

After the incident "our board took a courageous stand to enact a set of policies to quantify the presence of a firearm as a disruption to the classroom environment," she said.

A lawyer for Michigan Gun Owners said he was shocked by the ruling and he thought the majority justices fit the ruling to match their opinions that firearms don't belong in school.

"This did nothing to enhance school safety," attorney James Makowski said. "All they did was create a bunch of soft targets. Before this, there was at least a chance that there might be a responsibly armed citizen in a school in the state of Michigan. We just sent a message to every crazy out there."

The justices in the majority wrote that the Michigan Legislature can preempt school districts from enacting gun bans but has not done so. It cited a prior case that found the law "expressly preempts regulation of firearms by a city, village, township, or county; it does not apply to school districts."

The state's chief justice, Stephen Markman, wrote in his dissent that schools could not prohibit what state law permits. He cited code that says school districts "may exercise a power ... except as otherwise provided by law."

The other two justices wrote an opinion agreeing in part with the majority and dissenting in part.

Makowski said the Supreme Court's decision cannot be appealed, so his group is considering other action, like lobbying the legislature for a change to law. He added that like the school systems, his group wants to protect school children.

"It's just our position is that you need more resources than what the school districts have and we need to look elsewhere," he said.

The city of Ann Arbor filed an amicus brief in support of the school system. Mayor Christopher Taylor said Saturday that people with guns create an environment of fear.

"I think that it is proper to enable school districts to keep students and visitors safe," he said. "The presence of guns is a danger."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 611039

Reported Deaths: 9716
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion844351336
Lake45508685
Allen32891552
Hamilton29546315
St. Joseph27449381
Elkhart24440345
Vanderburgh19513250
Tippecanoe18043140
Johnson15140295
Porter14865169
Hendricks14440248
Madison11009222
Vigo10769181
Clark10731144
Monroe9424113
Delaware9152134
LaPorte9103164
Howard8268144
Kosciusko808983
Warrick676599
Hancock6741104
Bartholomew6523100
Floyd6469110
Wayne6157162
Grant6011116
Dubois556980
Boone554668
Morgan545795
Henry509764
Marshall505384
Cass485264
Dearborn483245
Noble474059
Jackson426747
Shelby419581
Lawrence392980
Clinton374243
Gibson372559
Harrison350945
DeKalb348264
Montgomery346554
Knox335839
Miami323044
Steuben314545
Whitley309726
Wabash304551
Adams302136
Ripley300046
Putnam297850
Huntington293159
Jasper290534
White274143
Daviess271274
Jefferson264738
Decatur248983
Fayette247848
Greene241162
Posey240328
Wells236451
LaGrange229662
Scott225739
Clay223532
Randolph214948
Jennings199336
Sullivan192933
Spencer192422
Washington187523
Fountain184627
Starke175643
Jay168223
Owen166837
Fulton164230
Orange160835
Carroll159115
Rush155818
Perry155229
Vermillion149334
Franklin149033
Tipton133033
Parke13088
Pike118226
Blackford111422
Pulaski97337
Newton91721
Brown88235
Benton86910
Crawford8069
Martin74413
Warren6857
Switzerland6665
Union6287
Ohio4957
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 864322

Reported Deaths: 10711
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin101705707
Cuyahoga860661145
Hamilton64392448
Montgomery43309418
Summit35063761
Lucas31500625
Butler31128232
Stark25933435
Warren19746141
Lorain19165223
Mahoning17383338
Lake16178154
Clermont16057111
Delaware1445479
Licking13274137
Fairfield1287781
Trumbull12861316
Greene12114139
Medina11666168
Clark10995265
Wood10407158
Allen9945126
Portage9382109
Miami921073
Richland9186118
Marion7467113
Tuscarawas7410182
Columbiana7356124
Pickaway728450
Wayne7080171
Muskingum705241
Erie6188129
Hancock554390
Ross5532100
Scioto541664
Geauga513555
Darke471092
Lawrence457958
Ashtabula454673
Union454628
Sandusky438562
Mercer434489
Seneca431566
Huron430041
Auglaize423064
Shelby421922
Jefferson420569
Belmont417740
Washington391840
Athens38129
Putnam376275
Madison356529
Knox354422
Ashland347438
Fulton339343
Defiance332286
Crawford323874
Preble321437
Brown313921
Logan309132
Ottawa294943
Clinton290743
Williams279467
Highland276718
Jackson265345
Guernsey256326
Champaign252628
Fayette237330
Morrow23334
Perry232018
Holmes225674
Henry220149
Hardin214033
Coshocton205722
Van Wert202645
Gallia198826
Wyandot196151
Pike177417
Adams176915
Hocking172624
Carroll156216
Paulding144721
Noble120740
Meigs109024
Monroe101032
Harrison89421
Morgan83430
Vinton70813
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