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Appeals court upholds U of M campus gun ban

Revolvers on the counter of a gun shop.
Dmitriy_Tolmachov/DmyTo - stock.adobe.com
Revolvers on the counter of a gun shop.

The Michigan Court of Appeals issued a ruling Friday that the University of Michigan’s campus firearm ban does not violate the Second Amendment.

Ann Arbor resident Joshua Wade challenged U of M’s campus firearm ban and demanded to be allowed to openly carry a gun. The university’s policy has just a few exceptions — such as licensed law enforcement. Those exceptions do not include civilians with a concealed pistol permit.

There were multiple issues raised in the case, but the appeals court focused on just one question: whether a university campus qualifies as a “sensitive place” under a federal legal precedent. And the appellate judges in a 2-0 opinion said: It does.

“Clearly, the efficacy of gun bans as a public safety measure is a matter of debate. However, because the University is a school, and thus a sensitive place, it is up to the policy-maker — the University in this case — to determine how to address that public safety concern.”

The U of M weapons policy bans guns, knives longer than four inches, and other dangerous weapons. The ban includes people who have a state-issued concealed weapons permit, who normally have wider latitude to carry guns openly.

This is likely not the final word in the case. It was first filed in 2015 and has gone up to the Michigan Supreme Court before it was returned to lower courts, and it could be appealed again.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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